Privacy Papers for Policymakers 2021

February 10, 2021


About the Privacy Papers for Policymakers Award

FPF is excited to announce the 11th-annual Privacy Papers for Policymakers winners and virtual awards! The award recognizes leading privacy scholarship that is relevant to policymakers in the U.S. Congress, at U.S. federal agencies, and international data protection authorities. 

The selected papers highlight important work that analyzes current and emerging privacy issues and proposes achievable short-term solutions or new means of analysis that could lead to real-world policy solutions. 

“Academic scholarship is an essential resource for legislators and regulators around the world who are grappling with the benefits and risks of data. Hot topics for research this year included COVID-19, international data flows and global regulation, ed tech, and virtual reality—all subjects thoughtful policymakers will benefit from understanding.”

FPF CEO Jules Polonetsky

From the many nominated papers, the winning papers were selected by a diverse team of academics, advocates, and industry privacy professionals from FPF’s Advisory Board. The winning papers were ultimately selected because they contain solutions that are relevant for policymakers in the U.S. and abroad. To learn more about the submission and review process, read our Call for Nominations.

About the Privacy Papers for Policymakers Award Event

The winning authors joined FPF to present their work at a virtual event with policymakers from around the world, academics, and industry privacy professionals.

We were honored to be joined by Acting FTC Chair Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, who provided the keynote address. Thank you to Honorary Co-Hosts Senator Edward Markey and Congresswoman Diana DeGette, Co-Chairs of the Congressional Privacy Caucus.

About the Winning Papers

The winners of the 2021 Privacy Papers for Policymakers Award are listed below. To learn more about the papers, judges, and authors, read the PPPM Digest

  • Tinker-ing with Machine Learning: The Legality and Consequences of Online Surveillance of Students, by Amy B. Cyphert, West Virginia University College of Law. The paper explores what 1st and 4th Amendment legal challenges to third-party surveillance might look like and the likelihood of success of those arguments. 
  • Transferring Personal Data in Asia: A Path to Legal Certainty and Regional Convergence, by Clarisse Girot, Asian Business Law Institute. The paper sets out proposals for how Asian stakeholders may promote greater consistency between their respective laws and regulations on international transfers of personal data in the region. 
  • Reimagining Reality: Human Rights and Immersive Technology, by Brittan Heller, Carr Center for Human Rights, Harvard University. The paper discusses the human rights implications of technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality, as well as actions that the industry and lawmakers can take to preserve human rights. 
  • Privacy in Pandemic: Law, Technology, and Public Health in the COVID-19 Crisis, by Tiffany C. Li, Boston University School of Law. The paper provides a comprehensive account of the ways in which privacy impacted technological and public health responses to the COVID-19 crisis to expose the need for reforms in privacy law. 
  • After Schrems II: A Proposal to Meet the Individual Redress Challenge, by Kenneth Propp, Georgetown University Law Center; and Atlantic Council & Peter Swire, Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business; Alston & Bird LLP; and Future of Privacy Forum. The article evaluates the recent Schrems II decision and proposes ways that U.S. surveillance law can be adapted to meet the standards of the European Court of Justice and establish a lasting foundation for data transfers in trans-Atlantic commerce.
  • Fiduciary Boilerplate, by Lauren Henry Scholz, Florida State University College of Law. The paper urges the creation of fiduciary relationships between consumers and companies that would increase company liability for data protection failures. 

In addition to the winning papers, FPF selected two papers for Honorable Mention: Strengthening Legal Protection Against Discrimination by Algorithms and Artificial Intelligence, by Frederik J. Zuiderveen Borgesius, Radboud University and Business Data Ethics: Governance Transformations for the Era of Advanced Analytics and AI, by Dennis Hirsch, Timothy Bartley, Aravind Chandrasekaran, Srinivasan Parthasarathy, Piers Norris Turner, and Davon Norris, Ohio State University.

FPF also selected one paper for the Student Paper Award: Personal Identifiability of User Tracking Data During Observation of 360-Degree VR Video, by Mark Roman Miller, Fernanda Herrera, Hanseul Jun, James A. Landay, and Jeremy N. Bailenson, Stanford University. FPF gave the Student Paper Honorable Mention to Hana Habib, Sarah Pearman, Jiamin Wang, Yixin Zou, Alessandro Acquisti, Lorrie Faith Cranor, Norman Sadeh, and Florian Schaub of Carnegie Mellon University & University of Michigan for their paper, “It’s a Scavenger Hunt”: Usability of Websites’ Opt-Out and Data Deletion Choices.