I’ve published the 2019 Edition of my meta-ranking of Flagship US Law Reviews here. The Table on that page provides a searchable way to compare law journal rankings based on Meta-Rank, US News Peer Reputation scores, US News Overall scores, Google Scholar Metrics values, and Washington & Lee Law Journal Ranking scores. As always, I welcome feedback and suggestions, and I also welcome notes expressing whether (and how) the ranking has been useful to you (if it has).
I am serving on the Organizing Committee for the 2018 Information Ethics Roundtable. Our CFP is below:
Information Ethics Roundtable 2018
Surveillance, Algorithms, and Digital Culture
University of Copenhagen, Denmark, May 17-18, 2018
Proposals Due: February 5, 2018
Notification of Acceptance: March 5, 2018
Full papers due: April 23, 2018
The 16th annual Information Ethics Roundtable (IER) will explore the interconnections and interdependencies between Surveillance, Algorithms, and Digital Culture that exist in the contemporary information society. Our daily lives and activities take place in digital media; information provision is highly personalized; decision-making is guided (automated) by the use of algorithms, machine learning, and artificial intelligence; personal information is traded on the information market by platforms and data brokers; and surveillance, in many forms, is increasingly pervading both the public-facing and more intimate aspects of our daily lives. In the 2018 edition of IER, we seek proposals that approach these interconnections and interdependencies through the lens of information ethics (writ large, to include those working in multiple fields and with differing methods).
The Information Ethics Roundtable (held annually since 2003) is a yearly conference that brings together researchers from disciplines such as philosophy, information science, communications, public administration, anthropology, and law to discuss ethical issues such as information privacy, intellectual property, intellectual freedom, and censorship.
Proposals for IER 2018 should be situated within the general field of information ethics (although participants are expected to come from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds) and, ideally, should connect two or more of the following areas of inquiry:
– Surveillance, privacy, and/or data protection – Algorithms, machine learning, and/or artificial intelligence (AI)
– Digital culture, digital media, social media, and/or other forms of digital media (non-)use
We invite two types of proposals:
(1) Papers: please submit a 500-word abstract of your paper. If accepted, you are expected to submit a full paper prior to the Roundtable, and you will be presenting the paper at the conference. The paper will not be stored in a public repository or published in proceedings.
(2) Panels: please submit a 1500-word description of your panel. The description should include: i) description of the topic, ii) biographies of the panel members, ii) organization of the panel. It is a requirement that panels focus tightly on a specific emergent topic, technology, phenomena, policy, or the like, with clear connections between the presentations.
Proposals should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please include the subject line: “IER 2018 proposal”
We are also interested in receiving expressions of interest to serve as a commenter/discussant for another person’s paper, as each author with an accepted paper will be paired with a commenter who will provide formal feedback and comments during the conference (after the initial paper presentation; discussants will be included in the official conference program). Expressions of interest should be sent to: email@example.com by April 16, 2018, although decisions will be made on a rolling basis after March 5, 2018 (the paper notification deadline). Please include the subject line: “IER 2018 commenter.”
Submission of Proposals (papers and panels): Monday February 5, 2018
Notification of Acceptance: Monday March 5, 2018
Full Paper Deadline: Monday April 23, 2018 Registration Deadline: Friday May 4, 2018
Conference Dates: Thursday & Friday May 17-18, 2018
More information on conference website: http://www.ier2018.info/
A pre-press draft of a new paper I’ve written with Ruben Greidanus is now available on ResearchGate and SSRN. The paper is forthcoming in the North Carolina Law Review’s 2017-18 symposium issue. We would appreciate any feedback.
In the past few years, questions about when police officers should activate (or not activate) their body-worn cameras during police-public encounters have risen into the foreground of public and scholarly debate. Understanding how officers perceive body-worn cameras and policies surrounding activation (and how they view these as impacting their ability to make discretionary choices while on the job) can provide greater insight into why, when, and how officers may attempt to exercise their discretion in the form of resistance or avoidance to body cameras, seen as technologies of accountability. In this paper, we examine officer attitudes about how much discretion they ought to have about when (or when not) to activate their cameras, what concerns they have about overbroad, overly punitive, or ambiguous activation policies, and their perceptions about how frequently cameras ought to be activated in specific circumstances (i.e., general police-public interactions, arrest situations, domestic violence calls, traffic stops, when taking statements from witnesses or victims, and when responding to calls inside homes and medical facilities). These findings are drawn from a multi-year and mixed-methods study of police officer adoption of body-worn cameras in two municipal police departments in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States from 2014 to 2017.
I’m very happy to announce that a new book I’ve co-edited with Tjerk Timan (TNO) and Bert-Jaap Koops (TILT) is now available for pre-order via Edward Elgar’s website or Amazon. The book, Privacy in Public Space: Conceptual and Regulatory Challenges, will be out in November, and is being published as part of the Elgar Law, Technology and Society book series. The Edward Elgar website also includes a form to recommend the book to your local (university) librarian.
This book examines privacy in public space from both legal and regulatory perspectives. With on-going technological innovations such as mobile cameras, WiFi tracking, drones and augmented reality, aspects of citizens’ lives are increasingly vulnerable to intrusion. The contributions describe contemporary challenges to achieving privacy and anonymity in physical public space, at a time when legal protection remains limited compared to ‘private’ space. To address this problem, the book clearly shows why privacy in public space needs defending. Different ways of conceptualizing and shaping such protection are explored, for example through ‘privacy bubbles’, obfuscation and surveillance transparency, as well as revising the assumptions underlying current privacy laws.
Table of contents:
Introduction: Conceptual directions for privacy in public space
Tjerk Timan, Bryce Clayton Newell, and Bert-Jaap Koops
Part I: Philosophical and Empirical Insights
1. Conceptualising Space and Place: Lessons from Geography for the Debate on Privacy in Public
Bert-Jaap Koops and Maša Galic
2. Hidden in plain sight
3. Privacy in public and the contextual conditions of agency
4. A politico-economic perspective on privacy in public spaces
5. Visually Distant and Virtually Close: Public and Private Spaces in the Archives de la Planète (1909–1931) and Life in a Day (2011)
Julia M. Hildebrand
Part II: Law and Regulation
6. Exposure and concealment in digitized public spaces
Steven B. Zhao
7. Covering up: American and European legal approaches to public facial anonymity after S.A.S. v France
8. Privacy impact notices to address the privacy pollution of mass surveillance
A. Michael Froomkin
9. Privacy in Public Spaces: The Problem of Out-of-Body DNA
Albert E. Scherr
10. The Internet of Other People’s Things
Meg Leta Jones
11. The need for privacy in public space
A new paper I’ve written with colleagues at Tilburg University and Melbourne Law School has just been accepted to Law & Social Inquiry. We expect publication in mid-2018. Information below:
The Reasonableness of Remaining Unobserved: A Comparative Analysis of Visual Surveillance and Voyeurism in Criminal Law
Bert-Jaap Koops, Bryce Clayton Newell, Andrew Roberts, Ivan Škorvánek, and Maša Galič
The criminalization of offensive behavior is an important form of privacy protection, but few studies exist of visual observation in criminal law. We address this gap by researching when nonconsensual visual observation is deemed harmful enough to trigger criminal sanctions, and on what basis the law construes the “reasonableness of remaining unobserved,” through a nine-country comparative study (Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, UK, and US). We distinguish between a voyeurism-centric approach (focusing largely on nudity and sex) and a broader, intrusion-centric approach (such as observation inside closed spaces). Both approaches explicitly or implicitly reflect “reasonable” privacy expectations, by listing criteria for situations in which people can reasonably expect to remain unobserved or unrecorded. We discuss these criteria to present a framework for criminalizing nonconsensual visual observation, encompassing factors of technology use, place, subject matter, and surreptitiousness that create substantial disruptions in impression management, supplemented by factors of intent, identifiability, and counter-indicators to prevent overcriminalization. We explain this framework as relevant for protecting visual aspects of privacy in view of individuals’ underlying interests in autonomy, and show how visual-observation crimes can be interpreted as ways to assist people in their impression management in situations where disruptions occur in self-presentation and where normal techniques of rebalancing impressions provide insufficient redress. Discussing whether legal frameworks reflect contemporary socio-technical realities, we observe a gap in legal protection relating to non-covert taking of autonomy-undermining images in public as a major up-coming challenge to impression management.
This paper presents findings from an exploratory qualitative study of the experiences and perceptions of undocumented (irregular) migrants to the United States with various forms of surveillance in the borderlands between the U.S. and Mexico. Based on fieldwork conducted primarily in a migrant shelter in Nogales, Mexico, we find that migrants generally have a fairly sophisticated understanding about U.S. Border Patrol surveillance and technology use and that they consciously engage in forms of resistance or avoidance. Heightened levels of border surveillance may be deterring a minority of migrants from attempting immediate future crossings, but most interviewees were undeterred in their desire to enter the U.S., preferring to find ways to avoid government surveillance. Furthermore, migrants exhibit a general lack of trust in the “promise” of technology to improve their circumstances and increase their safety during clandestine border-crossing—often due to fears that technology use makes them vulnerable to state surveillance, tracking, and arrest.
Newell, B.C., R. Gomez and V.E. Guajardo. 2017. Sensors, Cameras, and the New ‘Normal’ in Clandestine Migration: How Undocumented Migrants Experience Surveillance at the U.S.-Mexico Border. Surveillance & Society 15(1): 21-41. [link]
As co-chair of the 2017 PLSC-Europe conference, which is taking place as part of the TILTing Perspectives 2017 conference at Tilburg University, I am very happy to announce the final workshop agenda (click here for a PDF: PLSC-Europe 2017 Agenda). We have 12 great papers to workshop this year, and more than 80 participants. For more about the TILTing Perspectives conference, click here.
For the (open access) version of record, go to http://scholarship.law.upenn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1938&context=jil
Citation: Bert-Jaap Koops, Bryce Clayton Newell, Tjerk Timan, Ivan Škorvánek, Tomislav Chokrevski, and Maša Galič, “A Typology of Privacy.” University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law 38(2): 483-575.
I’m delighted to announce that I’ll be joining the University of Kentucky’s School of Information Science (part of the College of Communication and Information – the UK iSchool) as an Assistant Professor in Fall 2017. I’ll be part of the School’s Information Communication Technology (ICT) program (offering BS/BA and MS degrees). The iSchool also houses a college-wide PhD program in Communication (with an emphasis in Information Studies).
I’m thrilled that my research into police adoption and use of body-worn cameras (and what I call the “collateral visibility” of individual civilians captured on video due to liberal public disclosure of body camera footage) is cited in the lead feature article in the October 23, 2016 issue of the New York Times Magazine (link). The story is very well done and worth a read.
A draft of my forthcoming paper referenced in the NY Times piece is available here.