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Leah is an expert in digital privacy law & digital life for kids & teens & families, as well as a leader in developing and operationalizing innovations in digital higher education. 

Leah is the inaugural Assistant Dean for Learning Experience & Technology (LXT) and the Meyer Research Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School. LXT is an interdisciplinary, creative team that serves as the resource hub for creating excellent, engaged online classrooms, academic content, and community spaces at HLS. 

Previously, Leah was an Associate Professor of Legal Skills, Associate Dean for Administration, and Director of Academic Success at University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law, where she was a chief architect of a one-of-a-kind hybrid online/residential JD program in Intellectual Property, Information, and Technology Law (launched fall 2019) and a preliminary bar exam program that uses performance data to inform student and school success. 

Leah is the author of SHARENTHOOD: Why We Should Think before We Talk about Our Kids Online (MIT Press; September 2019), a critically-acclaimed book that was incubated through her work as a fellow with the Youth & Media team at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

Leah lives with her family in Concord, NH, where she is active in civic life, including service on the board of the ACLU of New Hampshire.


Projects & Tools

Youth and Media

Youth and Media (YaM) encompasses an array of research, advocacy, and development initiatives around youth (age 12-18) and digital technology.

Digital Citizenship+ Resource Platform

The DCRP is an evolving collection of tools that you can use to learn more about safety, privacy, information quality, and creative expression.

Past

Student Privacy Initiative

The Student Privacy Initiative-- part of the Center's growing suite of Privacy Initiatives-- aims to surface, identify, and evaluate central privacy issues and opportunities that…


Publications

Publication
Sep 26, 2016

Student Privacy and Ed Tech (K-12) Research Briefing

This research briefing builds upon student privacy research and activities, and aims to translate these into practical take-aways. 

Jul 30, 2015

Student Privacy: The Next Frontier

Emerging & Future Privacy Issues in K-12 Learning Environments

Building off several prior working meetings which mapped and considered the implications of the new and rapidly evolving ecosystem of networked technology being used with…

Jun 2, 2014

Framing the Law & Policy Picture: A Snapshot of K-12 Cloud-Based Ed Tech & Student Privacy in Early 2014

This paper provides a snapshot of key aspects of a diverse—and heated—law, policy, and implementation debate that is taking place in the rapidly evolving cloud-based ed tech…

Publication
Jan 15, 2014

Student Privacy and Cloud Computing at the District Level: Next Steps and Key Issues

This report offers recommended next steps and prioritized open issues in the K-12 educational technology (edtech) space, with a special emphasis on two topics: (1) law and policy…


News

News
Nov 16, 2020

‘The Connected Parent’ offers guidance, insight into digital parenting

John Palfrey and Urs Gasser discuss their latest book


Community

Teen Vogue

"Right to Be Forgotten" Bill to Be Introduced in Maryland to Protect Children of Influencers

Leah Plunkett speaks to Teen Vogue about the new "Right to Be Forgotten" bill introduced in Maryland to protect child influencers. 

Dec 15, 2023
MSNBC

How social media algorithms can lead users into temptation

Leah Plunkett writes about how algorithms can quickly become privacy violations.

Dec 12, 2023
New Hampshire Public Radio

As NH sues Meta, it also urges social media literacy instruction for kids

BKC Faculty Associate Leah Plunkett discusses the difficulties parents face when raising children in the internet age.

Nov 27, 2023

Who's in Charge in a Kid-Influencer World?

Leah Plunkett is a Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center and an expert in digital privacy law and digital life for kids, teens, and families.

Nov 8, 2023
Yahoo

The psychology of 'sharenting': Why parents can't resist talking about their kids online - and what experts say about it

BKC Faculty Associate Leah Plunkett discusses considerations parents should make before sharing information about their children online.

Oct 13, 2023
Mother Jones

How Dating Became a Paradise for Predators

BKC Faculty Associate Leah Plunkett comments on the relationship between social media platforms and the harms that may occur on them.

Sep 1, 2023
CNN

Mark Zuckerberg concealed his kids’ faces on Instagram. Should you?

BKC Faculty Associate Leah Plunkett comments on sharing photos of children and their faces online. 

Jul 9, 2023
The Seattle TImes

Why FTC’s child privacy push costs Seattle’s biggest employers millions

BKC Faculty Associate Leah Plunkett comments on children's privacy rights.

Jul 2, 2023
Center for Democracy and Technology

Report – Sharing the Health: Guidance for Schools When Procuring Mental Health Technologies

The Center for Democracy and Technology, with advice from Sandra Cortesi, Madeline McGee, Leah Plunkett, and Elizabeth Sylvan released a new report to help schools procure…

Jun 27, 2023
Coda

Software snoops on students during exams

Leah Plunkett provides insight into student surveillance during the pandemic

Nov 11, 2020
Armchair Expert

Leah Plunkett joins Armchair Expert podcast

Plunkett discusses sharing kids’ data on social media

Sep 17, 2020
Coda

Education monitoring tech soars as result of Covid-19

Leah Plunkett discusses privacy concerns about online education

Aug 24, 2020
WGBH

Digital Bingeing: Time On Screens During COVID-19

We're turning to screens more than ever during the coronavirus pandemic. But what are the implications of spending so much time online?

May 22, 2020
NBC4 WCMH

Do’s and Don’ts of sharing content involving your kids

When it comes to children’s privacy online, the law is spotty.

Apr 29, 2020
CNN

We've made new rules to protect our families. We must protect kids' privacy too.

Leah Plunkett on the importance of protecting child privacy while social distancing.

Apr 22, 2020
Jefferson Public Radio

Over-sharing Your Kids In The Social Media Age

Faculty associate Leah Plunkett joins The Jefferson Exchange to discuss the problems with parents creating a digital dossier that could follow their kids for life. …

Jan 8, 2020
Fast Company

I wrote the book on ‘sharenting.’ Here’s how you can do right by your kids online

Leah Plunkett on how you should navigate your child's digital footprint. “To save their childhood, youth today need us, their parents, to fight against our …

Dec 16, 2019
WNYC

'Sharenthood: Why We Should Think Before We Talk About Our Kids Online'

Leah Plunkett discusses her new book with WNYC

Oct 30, 2019
KUOW

Hey Alexa: are you a bad influence on my kid?

Leah Plunkett talks about her new book, Sharenthood: Why We Should Think Before We Talk About Our Kids Online.

Oct 21, 2019
The Harvard Gazette

The do’s and don’ts of sharing about your children online

Leah Plunkett shares tips for navigating technology when it comes to kids

Oct 11, 2019
Fatherly

The Dangers of Social Media “Sharenting”: Why You Should Think Twice Before You Post

Leah Plunkett urges parents to stop and think before sharing family photos, stories, and data online.

Sep 23, 2019
The New Yorker

Instagram, Facebook, and the Perils of “Sharenting”

What happens when the slow telos of parenthood meets the insatiable rhythms of social media?

Sep 11, 2019
The Boston Globe

Are you sure you want to post that about your kid on Facebook?

Why oversharing about children today could end up hurting them for years to come.

Sep 10, 2019
The Notebook

Cyber operator exposed students’ personal data

Faculty associate explains why FERPA is difficult to enforce

Aug 22, 2019

Events

Nov 9, 2023 @ 3:00 PM

The Young and the Influential

Labor Law Reform to Protect Kid-influencers

In a world where young people are the dominant users of social media, but still don’t have voting rights or positions of power to legislate reform, where do their rights to…

Event
Feb 9, 2023 @ 12:30 PM

Student Salon Series: Moral Futurism: Digital Citizenship and the Rights of Youth in the Metaverse and Beyond

The Student Salon Series is a student-led event series bringing Harvard students into dialogue about tech topics, hosted by the Berkman…

Nov 7, 2022 @ 12:30 PM

How Should Data Governance be Shaped to Facilitate Altruistic Data Sharing?

Nov. 7, a Transatlantic Dialogue on Global Future-Casting and Youth Future-Building

Join us on Nov. 7 to discuss the challenges and questions around data governance and altruistic data sharing models.

Nov 10, 2020 @ 4:00 PM

The Connected Parent: An Expert Guide to Parenting in a Digital World

Video & Podcast: A Harvard Law School Library Faculty Book Talk with Urs Gasser and John Palfrey

Video & Podcast A Harvard Law School Library Faculty Book Talk with Urs Gasser and John Palfrey

Event
Nov 19, 2019 @ 12:00 PM

Sharenthood: How Parents, Teachers, and Other Trusted Adults Harm Youth Privacy & Opportunity

Featuring Leah Plunkett

VIDEO & PODCAST: How and why adults should not (or should) share information about kids and teens through digital technologies

Event
Dec 8, 2015 @ 12:00 PM

State of Student Privacy

with Urs Gasser, Sandra Cortesi, Dalia Topelson Ritvo, Paulina Haduong, and Leah Plunkett

The Berkman Center’s Student Privacy Initiative will be taking stock of our student privacy work to date and exploring future directions. At this luncheon, the Berkman team will…

Event
Jun 3, 2014 @ 12:30 PM

Framing the Law & Policy Picture: A Snapshot of K-12 Cloud-Based Ed Tech & Student Privacy in Early 2014

Leah Plunkett, Alicia Solow-Niederman, and Urs Gasser

The Berkman Center’s Student Privacy Initiative team presents a snapshot of K-12 cloud-based ed tech and student privacy in early 2014 before turning to pragmatic law and policy…