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Elizabeth M. Renieris is a law and policy expert focused on data governance and the human rights implications of new and emerging technologies. 

Elizabeth is the founder & CEO of HACKYLAWYER, a consultancy focused on law and policy engineering, and a Technology & Human Rights Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, where she is designing a recalibrated human rights framework for data governance.

A leading authority on digital identity, cross-border data protection and privacy laws (CIPP/E, CIPP/US), and emerging technologies such as blockchain and AI, Elizabeth has advised the World Bank, the U.K. Parliament, and the European Commission, as well as a variety of international organizations and NGOs, on these subjects. She has worked on three continents as a government attorney, outside counsel with two prominent international law firms, and in-house counsel at two digital identity startups, and serves as an advisor to the MIT Computational Law Report. 

Elizabeth holds a Master of Laws (LLM) from the London School of Economics, a Juris Doctor (JD) from Vanderbilt University, and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) from Harvard College.  



The Bitcoin Mining Showdown In New York’s Wine Country

Elizabeth Renieris shares about cryptocurrency's climate impact.

Apr 7, 2022
Centre for International Governance Innovation

Amid the Hype over Web3, Informed Skepticism Is Critical

Elizabeth Renieris urges skepticism amid the overwhelming hype around Web3.

Jan 14, 2022
Centre for International Governance Innovation

Why a Little-Known Blockchain-Based Identity Project in Ethiopia Should Concern Us All

Elizabeth Renieris assesses a national ID scheme developing in Ethiopia amid the country’s civil war.

Dec 7, 2021
MIT Sloan Management Review

Starting Now On Technology Ethics: Elizabeth Renieris

Elizabeth Renieris is interviewed about her work in AI ethics.

Jun 22, 2021
MIT Technology Review

Vaccine waitlist Dr. B collected data from millions. But how many did it help?

Elizabeth Renieris discusses data collection by private-sector companies and how incentives differ for public health organizations.

May 24, 2021
MIT Technology Review

What England’s new vaccine passport could mean for covid tech’s next act

Elizabeth Renieris discusses vaccine passports with MIT Technology Review

May 19, 2021
Ada Lovelace Institute

Why PETs (privacy-enhancing technologies) may not always be our friends

Elizabeth Renieris explains the benefits and drawbacks of privacy-enhancing technologies. "There is no question that PETs can be useful in reducing some of the…

Apr 29, 2021
Centre for International Governance Innovation

The $4 Billion App That Doesn’t Value Privacy, Security or Accessibility

Elizabeth Renieris pens essay about Clubhouse

Apr 28, 2021
Centre for International Governance Innovation

What’s Really at Stake with Vaccine Passports

Elizabeth Renieris explains vaccine passports and potential implications of enforcing them.

Apr 5, 2021
Centre for International Governance Innovation

What Google’s Privacy Sandbox Means for Internet Governance

Elizabeth Renieris explains Google’s Privacy Sandbox

Mar 19, 2021
Yahoo Finance

Google's new privacy policy for Chrome won't stop targeted ads

Elizabeth Renieris discusses targeted advertising and Federated Learning of Cohorts

Mar 5, 2021

Why Facebook Turned Off The News In Australia

Elizabeth Renieris joins WBUR

Feb 24, 2021
Centre for International Governance Innovation

Why Is Facebook’s Decision to Restrict News in Australia So Significant?

Elizabeth Renieris on the importance of Facebook barring news in Australia

Feb 19, 2021

Facebook makes a power move in Australia - and may regret it

Elizabeth Renieris spoke with AP following the announcement that Facebook blocked news in Australia.

Feb 19, 2021
Digital Privacy News

Google’s Privacy Moves: Who Benefits?

Elizabeth Renieris explains why Google’s privacy moves may not be good for individual privacy

Dec 1, 2020
Good ID

Examining Digital Anonymity

Elizabeth Renieris spoke with Good ID about the importance of anonymity online

Nov 30, 2020
BKC Medium Collection

Tech Execs Wield Privacy as a Shield and a Sword in Congressional Hearing

The #BigTech antitrust hearing and the path ahead for privacy

Aug 6, 2020
BKC Medium Collection

On Platforms and Power

Elizabeth Renieris on social media platforms, their leaders, and democracy

Jul 16, 2020
BKC Medium Collection

The GDPR at Two — Global Floor or Global Ceiling?

Elizabeth Renieris on the impact of GDPR on the global data protection landscape

Jul 9, 2020
Digital Privacy News

Facebook’s German Court Loss Opens New Front Against Privacy Violations

Elizabeth Renieris discusses court decision with Digital Privacy News

Jul 9, 2020
Omidyar Network

Pathways and Pitfalls for Social Payment Programs and Data Protection

"There is no meaningful choice between compulsory digitization or exclusion."

Jun 30, 2020
Our Data Podcast

Moral Data Markets: Human-Centric Data Protection

Elizabeth Renieris joins Our Data podcast

Jun 24, 2020
Digital Privacy News

Facebook’s Small Business Grants Come With a Big Catch: Your Data

Elizabeth Renieris spoke with Digital Privacy News about Facebook's small business grants program

Jun 3, 2020

The Dangers of Blockchain-Enabled “Immunity Passports” for COVID-19

A legal, public health, and technical perspective from BKC’s Elizabeth Renieris.

May 18, 2020

The future of data governance

It’s time to move beyond individualistic approaches to data governance, writes Elizabeth Renieris

Apr 13, 2020
Omidyar Network

Data Protection and Digital Infrastructure Before, During, and After a Pandemic

Part one of an exploration into the pathways and pitfalls for good global data protection in an evolving landscape.

Apr 7, 2020

You Really Don’t Want to Sell Your Data

Proposals that would let people sell their information seem empowering—but they aren’t, writes BKC’s Elizabeth Renieris.

Apr 7, 2020
Women in Privacy

SSI? What we really need is full data portability

Despite numerous predictions by industry analysts that “self-sovereign identity” (or “SSI”) would be a key trend by now, in reality there is still limited adoption outside of…

Mar 31, 2020
Digital Privacy News

Q&A: Elizabeth Renieris

Data ownership is dangerous

Mar 31, 2020

The Role of Identity in Europe's Digital Future

Elizabeth Renieris considers the European Commission's recent communications regarding a universally accepted public electronic identity (eID)

Mar 26, 2020

When privacy meets pandemic

Applying core international human rights principles to coronavirus-related privacy interferences

Applying core international human rights principles to coronavirus-related privacy interferences

Mar 23, 2020

Governments Face Trade-Offs on Privacy in Fight Against Coronavirus

Elizabeth Renieris argues it’s not just the government that is having to navigate these complex questions.

Mar 16, 2020
Digital Trends

Chrome is ditching third-party cookies because Google wants your data all to itself

Elizabeth Renieris on why we should not celebrate Google's move to remove third-party cookies from Chrome

Feb 19, 2020

A Tale of Two (Small) Victories

Elizabeth Renieris on what BIPA and SyRI-related developments tell us about the future of privacy

Feb 6, 2020

How Web 3 can use Google-like tactics to keep users

Elizabeth Renieris warns that a new product offering companies working on Web 3 a way to send in-app notifications and targeted emails may be rebuilding what blockchain set out to…

Jan 25, 2020

An Identity Layer for the Web Would Identify Us Everywhere

Elizabeth Renieris on why a blockchain-based identity layer for the web could have unintended consequences.

Dec 21, 2019

It’s Time for Contextual Identity

A theory of digital ID premised on Helen Nissenbaum’s theory of privacy

Dec 17, 2019

Is Libra Dead?

Elizabeth Renieris says that might be the wrong question to ask

Oct 15, 2019

Forget erasure: why blockchain is really incompatible with the GDPR

An assessment of blockchain against the GDPR’s core principles

Sep 23, 2019