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Privacy & Security

Privacy violations are a serious threat to the health of the Internet and the effective use of technology. We study how people understand their privacy as users of technology, examine and document the risks and opportunities of privacy-related policies at various levels of society, and help build tools and techniques to ensure individual identities and data are protected.

Existing regulatory requirements and privacy practices in common use are not sufficient to address the risks associated with long-term, large-scale data activities.

Practical Approaches to Big Data Privacy Over Time

Our Work 102

Mar 19, 2024

Meet Jonathan Bellack, New Senior Director of the Applied Social Media Lab

Jonathan is Senior Director of the Applied Social Media Lab within the Berkman Klein Center. He is building a team of technologists to invent new social media approaches that…

Nov 14, 2022

BKC Comment to the FTC on Transparency and Commercial Surveillance

On behalf of BKC and its projects and associates, the Cyberlaw Clinic submitted a comment regarding the FTC's ANPR related to commercial surveillance and data privacy.

Mar 7, 2022

Digital Crime Scenes

The Role of Digital Evidence in the Persecution of LGBTQ People in Egypt, Lebanon, and Tunisia

Digital evidence has made it easier for law enforcement to identify, harass, and prosecute LGBTQ people...

Oct 1, 2021 @ 12:00 PM

Protecting and Promoting AI Innovation: Patent Eligibility Reform as an Imperative for National Security and Innovation

Three Part Virtual Symposium - Security, Privacy, and Innovation: Reshaping Law for the AI Era

VIDEO: Security, Privacy, AI, Law

Sep 24, 2021 @ 12:00 PM

Constitutional Values and the Rule of Law in the AI Era: Confronting a Changing Threat Landscape

Three Part Virtual Symposium - Security, Privacy, and Innovation: Reshaping Law for the AI Era

VIDEO: Security, Privacy, AI, Law

Sep 17, 2021 @ 12:00 PM

Responding to AI Enabled Surveillance and Digital Authoritarianism

Three Part Virtual Symposium - Security, Privacy, and Innovation: Reshaping Law for the AI Era

VIDEO: Security, Privacy, AI

Jul 22, 2021

Five Years of Assembly

Zenzele Best summarizes and celebrates five years of the Assembly Program

Jun 21, 2021

What a Hybrid Legal-Technical Analysis Teaches Us About Privacy Regulation

The Case of Singling Out

Micah Altman, Aloni Cohen, Kobbi Nissim, and Alexandra Wood published a new article “What a Hybrid Legal-Technical Analysis Teaches Us About Privacy Regulation: The Case of…

May 17, 2021 @ 4:00 PM

Assembly Project Fellowship Showcase

An inside look at the work of the 2021 Assembly Fellows on Disinformation, Privacy, and Ethical AI

An inside look at the work of the 2021 Assembly Fellows on Disinformation, Privacy, and Ethical AI

Apr 8, 2021 @ 1:00 PM

Edgelands Institute Launch Event

Introducing an interdisciplinary pop-up institute

The Edgelands Institute is an interdisciplinary pop-up institute to redraw our social contract in our era of mass-urbanization, surveillance, pandemics, and other emergencies,…

Feb 25, 2021

Surveillance and the ‘New Normal’ of Covid-19: Public Health, Data, and Justice

BKC community members share insights as part of SSRC Public Health, Surveillance, & Human Rights Network.

SSRC report shares strategies for building a more responsible social infrastructure. 

Feb 25, 2021 @ 10:00 AM

Privacy Praxis

The Bridge: How Does Your Scholarship/Work Live In This World?

Privacy Praxis is an annual conference bringing together scholars, practitioners, representatives, and advocates from a variety of disciplines to discuss and develop privacy work…

Feb 18, 2021

Designing Access with Differential Privacy

Explaining how administrative data containing personal information can be collected, analyzed, and published in a way that ensures the individuals in the data will be afforded the…

Feb 2, 2021 @ 12:00 PM

White Surveillance and Black Digital Publics

Video & Podcast: A Conversation with Dr. Apryl A. Williams and Dr. Allissa V. Richardson

Video & Podcast: Dr. Apryl A. Williams and Dr. Allissa V. Richardson will address the long-standing history of White vigilante-style surveillance of Black people in public spaces

Jan 25, 2021

BKC Assembly announces 2021 Assembly Fellowship cohort

Five teams from inside and outside academia to further develop interventions in the areas of disinformation, cybersecurity, and ethical AI

Five teams from inside and outside academia to further develop interventions in the areas of disinformation, cybersecurity, and ethical AI

Jun 2, 2020 @ 12:00 PM

[Virtual] Data and COVID-19

Health data, contact tracing, and misinformation

Health data, contact tracing, and misinformation

Apr 28, 2020

Global Perspectives on Data Collection, Contact Tracing, and COVID-19

Network of Centers discussion focuses on uses of data to combat COVID-19

Network of Centers discussion focuses on uses of data to combat COVID-19

Harvard Law Today
Apr 15, 2020

How much access to data should be permitted during COVID-19 pandemic?

Urs Gasser explores the risks and benefits of mining data to combat COVID-19

BKC Executive Director Urs Gasser is partnering with colleagues at Harvard Medical School and the T.H. Chan School of Public Health to pioneer the use of mobility data…

Apr 14, 2020

Clearview AI is using photos to ID you. Big tech can stop it from happening again.

If the platforms don’t take the vulnerabilities exposed by this scandal seriously, the next civil liberties disaster could be worse.

If the platforms don’t take the vulnerabilities exposed by this scandal seriously, the next civil liberties disaster could be worse.

Mar 24, 2020

Aggregated mobility data can help fight COVID-19 - safeguards needed

A Letter from Health Researchers and BKC’s Urs Gasser

A Letter from Health Researchers and BKC’s Urs Gasser

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

Apr 10, 2019

The Law and the Digital World

The AGTech Forum at Harvard Law gives state attorneys general a place to learn about technological changes and strategize about how the law can keep up

Insight for Attorney Generals into privacy and emerging technologies

Mar 5, 2019 @ 12:15 PM

Privacy’s Blueprint

The Battle to Control the Design of New Technologies

PODCAST & VIDEO: The dominant model for regulating privacy focuses on giving people control over their information and regulating data practices. This focus ignores the role that…

Mar 4, 2019

Data Protection’s Composition Problem

Why privacy and data protection regulations should be designed to explicitly regulate cumulative risk in a manner that is consistent with the science of composition effects.

Feb 20, 2019

Zittrain and Zuckerberg discuss encryption, ‘information fiduciaries’ and targeted advertisements

CEO visits with students from the University’s Techtopia program and Zittrain’s Internet and Society course

Should Facebook be considered an “information fiduciary” when it comes to the privacy of its clients?

Feb 19, 2019 @ 12:00 PM

The Smart Enough City

Putting Technology in Its Place to Reclaim Our Urban Future

VIDEO & PODCAST: Why technology is not an end in itself, and how cities can be “smart enough,” using technology to promote democracy and equity.

Feb 5, 2019

"Don't Panic: Making Progress on the 'Going Dark' Debate" now in Portuguese.

"Don't Panic: Making Progress on the 'Going Dark' Debate" now in Portuguese after translation by ITS Rio

Feb 5, 2019

Get to Know Berkman Klein Fellow Dragana Kaurin

a spotlight on one of our 2018-2019 BKC Fellows

Dragana's work is committed to "de-colonizing the net" and helping to empower communities worldwide in overcoming language and cultural barriers on the Internet.

Jan 11, 2019

Get to Know Berkman Klein Fellow Jasmine McNealy

a spotlight on one of our 2018-2019 BKC Fellows

McNealy is researching surveillance literacy and anti-surveillance tactics and advocacy in marginalized groups

Jan 11, 2019

Get to Know Berkman Klein Fellow Paola Ricuarte Quijano

a spotlight on one of our 2018-2019 BKC Fellows

by Mary Meisenzahl and Christina Chen This interview is part of a collaborative effort between the summer 2018 BKC interns and the Communications team to showcase the…

Dec 14, 2018

Get to Know Berkman Klein Fellow Rachel Han

a spotlight on one of our 2018-2019 BKC Fellows

Rachel Han is a 2018-2019 Berkman Klein fellow and Director of Business Development at OpenDataSoft, where she focuses on IoT and smart cities initiatives as well as collaborating…

Nov 1, 2018

Differential Privacy

A Primer for a Non-Technical Audience

This primer aims to provide a foundation that can guide future decisions when analyzing and sharing statistical data about individuals, informing individuals about the privacy…

Oct 18, 2018

Is Privacy Privacy?

How have different technical and normative conceptions of privacy evolved? What are the practical challenges that these divergent approaches pose?

Oct 9, 2018 @ 12:00 PM

Open Data, Grey Data, and Stewardship

Universities at the Privacy Frontier

Video & Podcast: Universities produce and consume vast amounts of data for research, teaching, service, and operational purposes. While extremely valuable to universities and…

Sep 25, 2018 @ 12:00 PM

"Click Here to Kill Everybody"

A BKC Book Talk

VIDEO & PODCAST: Bruce Schneier on his new book "Click Here to Kill Everybody"

Sep 12, 2018 @ 4:00 PM

Book Launch: Big Data, Health Law, and Bioethics

When data from all aspects of our lives can be relevant to our health - from our habits at the grocery store and our Google searches to our FitBit data and our medical records -…

Aug 21, 2018

Bridging the Gap between Computer Science and Legal Approaches to Privacy

A look at the gaps that exist between how privacy risks are conceptualized between the fields of law and computer science

Aug 3, 2018

A Harm-Reduction Framework for Algorithmic Fairness

Any evaluation of algorithmic fairness must consider a counterfactual analysis of the effects that algorithmic design, implementation, and use have on the well-being of…

May 8, 2018 @ 12:00 PM

Governance and Regulation in the land of Crypto-Securities (as told by CryptoKitties)

featuring founding members, Dieter Shirley and Alex Shih

Join founding members of the CryptoKitties team, Dieter Shirley and Alex Shih, as they discuss the unique governance, legal, and regulatory challenges of putting cats on the…

May 2, 2018

Encryption Policy And Its International Impacts: A Framework For Understanding Extraterritorial Ripple Effects

This paper explores the potential international ripple effects that can occur following changes to domestic encryption policies.

May 1, 2018 @ 12:00 PM

The Law and Ethics of Digital Piracy

Evidence from Harvard Law School Graduates

When do Harvard law students perceive digital file sharing (and piracy) as fine?

Apr 3, 2018 @ 12:00 PM

The Right of Publicity

Privacy Reimagined for a Public World

Jennifer E. Rothman discusses her book, The Right of Publicity: Privacy Reimagined for a Public World (Harvard University Press 2018). She challenges the conventional story of the…

Mar 13, 2018

Comments to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, Re: New Techniques and Methodologies Based on Combining Data from Multiple Sources

On March 13, 2018, members of the Privacy Tools Project submitted comments to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB), responding to the request for information…

Mar 12, 2018

Practical Approaches to Big Data Privacy Over Time

This article analyzes how privacy risks multiply as large quantities of personal data are collected over longer periods of time.

Sep 29, 2017 @ 10:00 AM

How to Watch Them Watching You

Researching Social Media, Online Platforms, and Algorithmic Systems From the Outside

Join us at the University of Michigan for a discussion with Eric Gilbert, Cedric Langbort, Jeff Larson, Casey Pierce, and Christo Wilson on how researchers can navigate and…

Sep 13, 2017

Cross-Border Data Access Reform

A Primer on the Proposed U.S.-U.K. Agreement

A brief primer on how cross-border data access requests currently work, options for reform, and major challenges to reform ahead.

May 3, 2017 @ 12:00 PM

Digital Rights and Online Harassment in the Global South

featuring Berkman Klein Affiliate, Nighat Dad

An inside look at the challenges facing women, human rights defenders, and other internet users in Pakistan, from online harassment to privacy and free expression.

Apr 27, 2017 @ 12:00 PM

Holding Hospitals Hostage

From HIPAA to Ransomware

For hospitals and healthcare providers, data protection efforts have long been driven by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This talk will look at recent…

Mar 30, 2017 @ 12:00 PM

Using Mobile Phone Data to Map Migration and Disease

Politics, Privacy, and Public Health

Mobile phone data are providing unprecedented insights into human migration and behavior with relevance for containment of epidemics and response to natural disasters, but what…

Dec 29, 2016

The Transparency Reporting Toolkit: Guide & Template

for Reporting on U.S. Government Requests for User Information

This guide provides a practical starting point for companies that want to create or improve their transparency reports.

Harvard Law Review
Dec 9, 2016

Recoding Privacy Law: Reflections on the Future Relationship Among Law, Technology, and Privacy

Urs Gasser’s introduction to the Harvard Law Review Forum’s Law, Privacy & Technology Commentary Series sketches the contours of a privacy landscape formed by the historic…

Sep 28, 2016

Berkman Klein’s “Digital Citizenship Learning Playlists” Wins “Digital Media and Learning (DML) Competition” Award

The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University is excited to announce that it is one of nine winners of the “6th Digital Media and Learning (DML)…

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. 

Sep 26, 2016

Privacy and Open Data Research Briefing

This research briefing offers a snapshot of recent developments in the open data and privacy landscape, outlines an action map of various governance approaches to protecting…

Sep 26, 2016

Privacy and Cybersecurity Research Briefing

This research briefing aims to translate findings from ongoing Berkman Klein Center privacy and cybersecurity research and activities into practical considerations and takeaways…

Jun 29, 2016

Privacy and Student Data

An Overview of Federal Laws Impacting Student Information Collected Through Networked Technologies

Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic, based at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, has prepared this guide to provide a high-level overview of two of the major federal…

May 31, 2016

Towards a Modern Approach to Privacy-Aware Government Data Releases

Governments are under increasing pressure to promote transparency, accountability, and innovation by making the data they hold available to the public. Because the data often…

May 3, 2016

Students host mini-symposium on data privacy in the U.S. and the EU

The student-moderated discussion among invited experts focused on bringing data privacy from theory to reality, and included a close look at the strengths and flaws of the current…

Mar 31, 2016

Elements of a New Ethical Framework for Big Data Research

The Berkman Center is pleased to announce the publication of a new paper from the Privacy Tools for Sharing Research Data project team. In this paper, Effy Vayena, Urs Gasser,…

Feb 16, 2016

Cloudy with a Conflict of Laws

How Cloud Computing Has Disrupted the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty System and Why It Matters

This paper describes how the fractal complexity of cloud computing’s physical geography has fractured the system of Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLATs) that arose during the…

Feb 11, 2016

A Worldwide Survey of Encryption Products

In this paper, which is modeled on a similar effort in 1999 by researchers from George Washington University, Berkman Fellow Bruce Schneier and collaborator Kathleen Seidel…

Feb 1, 2016

Don't Panic: Making Progress on the "Going Dark" Debate

This report from the Berkman Center's Berklett Cybersecurity Project offers a new perspective on the "going dark" debate from the discussion, debate, and analyses of an…

Jan 25, 2016

Digital Literacy Resource Platform Goes Live

The Berkman Center and Youth and Media are pleased to announce the launch of the Digital Literacy Resource Platform (DLRP), a new online platform we have designed and incubated as…

Jan 20, 2016

Privacy Tools Project submits comments on proposed revisions to the Common Rule

On January 6, 2016, members of the Privacy Tools for Sharing Research Data project submitted comments in response to the September 2015 notice of proposed rulemaking to revise the…

Jan 12, 2016

Between Openness and Privacy in Genomics

In this report, which was published in PLOS Medicine, the authors examine the questions around access to genomic data. They argue that the real breakthrough in reconciling privacy…

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…

Nov 10, 2015 @ 12:00 PM

Bridging the gap between computer science and legal approaches to privacy

with Kobbi Nissim and Alexandra Wood

Can lawyers and computer scientists bridge their very different notions of privacy?

Sep 29, 2015 @ 12:00 PM

The Mozilla Delphi Cybersecurity Study: Towards a User Centric Cybersecurity Policy Agenda

with Camille François, Josephine Wolff, Andy Ellis, and Bruce Schneier

Join us to learn more about the methodology and findings behind The Mozilla Delphi Cybersecurity study.

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…

Apr 7, 2015

Digitally Connected: Global Perspectives on Youth and Digital Media

An ebook presenting diverse views, experiences, and insights on key challenges and opportunities

“Digitally Connected: Global Perspectives on Youth and Digital Media,” is a first-of-its kind collection of essays that offers reflections from diverse perspectives on youth…

Mar 27, 2015

Integrating Approaches to Privacy Across the Research Lifecycle: When Is Information Purely Public?

This workshop report, the second in a series, identifies selected questions and explores issues around the meaning of “public” in the context of using data about individuals for…

Mar 25, 2015 @ 6:00 PM

Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World

With Berkman Fellow, Bruce Schneier. Moderated by Jonathan Zittrain with special guests, Yochai Benkler, Joe Nye, Sara Watson and Melissa Hathaway.

In Data and Goliath, security expert Bruce Schneier offers another path, one that values both security and privacy. He shows us exactly what we can do to reform our government…

Feb 17, 2015

Youth and Online News: Reflections and Perspectives

Youth and Media is pleased to announce the publication of "Youth and Online News: Reflections and Perspectives," a series of short essays written by friends and colleagues that…

Dec 16, 2014

Internet Monitor 2014: Reflections on the Digital World

The Internet Monitor project's second annual report—Internet Monitor 2014: Reflections on the Digital World—is a collection of roughly three dozen short contributions that…

Aug 3, 2014

Integrating Approaches to Privacy across the Research Lifecycle: Long-term Longitudinal Studies

This paper explores interdisciplinary approaches to privacy in long-term longitudinal studies of human subjects. Long-term longitudinal studies collect, at multiple points over a…

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…

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…

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…

Jan 15, 2014

Youth Perspectives on Tech in Schools: From Mobile Devices to Restrictions and Monitoring

This research brief, prepared by the Berkman Center’s Youth and Media project for the co-organized Berkman Center and Consortium for School Networking working meeting on student…

Jan 15, 2014

K-12 Edtech Cloud Service Inventory

Created for and informed by the co-organized Berkman Center and Consortium for School Networking working meeting on November 19, 2013, this document aims to provide individuals…

Dec 11, 2013

Internet Monitor 2013

Reflections on the Digital World

Internet Monitor 2013: Reflections on the Digital World, the Internet Monitor project's first-ever annual report, is a collection of essays from roughly two dozen experts around…

Aug 22, 2013

Teens and Mobile Apps Privacy

58% of American teens have downloaded an app to a cell phone or tablet. More than half of teen apps users have avoided an app due to concerns about sharing their personal…

Aug 14, 2013

Where Teens Seek Online Privacy Advice

Many teens ages 12-17 report that they usually figure out how to manage content sharing and privacy settings on their own. Focus group interviews with teens suggest that for their…

Aug 8, 2013 @ 2:00 PM

Reforming the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court

Richard Blumenthal, United States Senator for Connecticut

Senator Richard Blumenthal will deliver an address about proposed legislation to reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Read more about the legislation >

May 21, 2013

Teens, Social Media, and Privacy

Teens are sharing more information about themselves on social media sites than they have in the past, but they are also taking a variety of technical and non-technical steps to…

Mar 13, 2013

Teens and Technology 2013

Smartphone adoption among American teens has increased substantially and mobile access to the internet is pervasive. One in four teens are “cell-mostly” internet users, who say…

Nov 20, 2012

Parents, Teens, and Online Privacy

Parents have a range of concerns about how their children’s online activities might affect their privacy and many have taken steps to monitor their children and encourage online…

Sep 17, 2012

Bullying in a Networked Era: A Literature Review

This research update presents an aggregation and summary of recent academic literature on youth bullying. The purpose of this document is to “translate” scholarly research for a…

Feb 23, 2012

Youth and Digital Media: From Credibility to Information Quality

Building upon a process- and context-oriented information quality framework, this paper seeks to map and explore what we know about the ways in which young users of age 18 and…

Aug 1, 2011

Online Security in the Middle East and North Africa

A Survey of Perceptions, Knowledge, and Practice

The recent surge in digital activism that has helped to shape the Arab spring has been met with stiff resistance by governments in the region intent on reducing the impact of…

Oct 14, 2010

2010 Circumvention Tool Usage Report

This paper evaluates the usage of blocking-resistant circumvention tools, simple web proxies, and VPN services and finds that overall usage of circumvention tools is still very…

Jun 22, 2010

Sexting: Youth Practices and Legal Implications

This document addresses legal and practical issues related to the practice colloquially known as sexting. It was created by Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic, based at the…

Jun 15, 2010

Working Towards a Deeper Understanding of Digital Safety for Children and Young People in Developing Nations

An Exploratory Study by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, in Collaboration with UNICEF

This paper's main objectives are: to raise awareness about issues related to digital safety for youth in developing nations; to provide a tentative map of these issues and give…

Apr 28, 2010

How the COPPA, as Implemented, Is Misinterpreted by the Public: A Research Perspective

Statement to the United States Senate, Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

Statement by danah boyd, Urs Gasser, and John Palfrey, urging consideration of the gap between the intentions of COPPA and how children and their parents perceive its…

Apr 12, 2010

Youth, Privacy and Reputation (Literature Review)

The scope of this literature review is to map out what is currently understood about the intersections of youth, reputation, and privacy online, focusing on youth attitudes and…

Feb 24, 2010

Response to FCC Notice of Inquiry 09-94 “Empowering Parents and Protecting Children in an Evolving Media Landscape”

The response synthesizes current research and data on the media practices of youth, focusing on three main areas -- 1) Risky Behaviors and Online Safety, 2) Privacy, Publicity and…

May 1, 2009

Youth, Creativity, and Copyright in the Digital Age

This paper describes research findings that show young people operate in the digital realm overwhelmingly ignorant of the rights, and to a lesser degree the restrictions,…

Mar 5, 2009

2007 Circumvention Landscape Report: Methods, Uses, and Tools

A large variety of different projects have developed tools that can be used to circumvent Internet filtering, allowing people in filtered countries access to otherwise filtered…

Dec 27, 2008

The Public and the Private at the United States Border with Cyberspace

In the twenty-first century, a state can come to know more about each of its citizens via surveillance than ever before in human history. Some states are beginning to exercise…

Dec 23, 2008 @ 12:30 PM

Watching Google AdWords: The Mysterious Mechanization of Meaning in the Google Brain

Hal Roberts

Google's AdWords system serves ads alongside about a quarter of all web traffic. In the process of serving those ads, Google actively processes the user browsing data in order to…

Sep 23, 2008 @ 8:00 PM

Born Digital (Cambridge Book Talk & Reception)

by John Palfrey and Urs Gasser

The Berkman Center celebrated the release of John Palfrey and Urs Gasser's "Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives" at Harvard Law School.

Sep 1, 2008

Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives

Based on original research and advancing new theories, leading internet and technology experts John Palfrey and Urs Gasser offer a sociological portrait of the 'Born Digital'…

Community 252


Backdoor in XZ Utils That Almost Happened

Bruce Schneier writes about a recent potential cybersecurity catastrophe.

Apr 9, 2024
Policy Options

Online Harms Act: a step in the right direction to protect Canadians online

Florian Martin-Bariteau evaluates the Online Harms Act, a complex proposal to protect Canadians online.

Mar 8, 2024

Building a Cyber Insurance Backstop Is Harder Than It Sounds

BKC Affiliate Bruce Schneier and Josephine Wolff describe the difficulties of forming a government back cybersecurity insurance backstop.

Feb 26, 2024

When it Comes to Facial Recognition, There is No Such Thing as a Magic Number

BKC Affiliate Marissa Gerchick and Matt Cagle argue that facial recognition test scores mislead communities about the technology's harms.

Feb 7, 2024

“Where are you” vs “How are you”?

BKC Affiliate Tunde Okunoye contemplates what investment in digital identification projects in Africa may achieve—and who they may benefit.

Jan 31, 2024

CFPB’s proposed data rules would improve security, privacy and competition

Bruce Schneier writes about the CFPB's proposed data rules and its benefits.

Jan 24, 2024

AI Needs to Be Both Trusted and Trustworthy

Bruce Schneier explains the need for a rethinking of trust and governance to prepare for the future of AI.

Jan 8, 2024
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

How social media algorithms can lead users into temptation

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

Dec 12, 2023
The Harvard Gazette

Even war has rules, so why none for espionage?

BKC Faculty Associate Asaf Lubin comments on why it makes little sense that there are no rules for espionage during times of peace when there are rules for times of war.

Oct 18, 2023

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
Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters

Queer and feminist reflections on sextech

Zahra Stardust co-authors commentary reflecting on sextech futures.

Sep 15, 2023
Tech Policy Press

A Better Approach to Privacy for Third-Party Social Media Tools

BKC Faculty Associate Ethan Zuckerman and Chand Rajendra-Nicolucci discuss the privacy considerations surrounding the creation of third-party social media tools to create a…

Aug 31, 2023
Tech Policy Press

A Better Approach to Privacy for Third-Party Social Media Tools

Chad Rajendra-Nicolucci and BKC Faculty Associate Ethan Zuckerman argue that fresh approaches to privacy will be necessary for the ecosystem of third-party tools that complement…

Aug 31, 2023

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 Atlantic

How to Decarbonize Crypto

BKC Affiliate Bruce Schneier writes about decarbonizing crypto and the opportunity to curb its massive environmental impact. "The good news is that cryptocurrencies don’t have…

Dec 6, 2022

Not all Superheros Wear Capes: Identity Triggers the Trolls

BKC Fellow Kesa White writes about extremism and its links to identity and gender.  "Identities make people unique and allow them to live their truth…

Dec 2, 2022
The New York Times

The Uber Hack Exposes More Than Failed Data Security

BKC Fellow Bruce Schneier writes about the Uber hack. "In all of these cases, the victimized organizations could have very likely protected our data better, but the reality is…

Sep 26, 2022
Yale Journal of Law & Technology

Sonic Privacy

BKC Faculty Associate Jasmine McNealy writes about the recognition of sonic privacy.

Sep 1, 2022

Sex trouble: Sex/gender slippage, sex confusion, and sex obsession in machine learning using electronic health records

Kendra Albert writes about how researchers should handle sex/gender variables in different contexts like medicine, and the different pitfalls researchers may fall into. “False…

Aug 12, 2022
ABC News

Snapchat safety features for parents announced

BKC Faculty Associate Sameer Hinduja speaks about the new Snapchat safety features.   “Now, of course, those parents or guardians are not going to be able to see the…

Aug 9, 2022
Scientific American

Data Vu: Why Breaches Involve the Same Stories Again and Again

BKC Faculty Associate Woodrow Hartzog writes about the repetitive mistakes made by organizations whenever a data breach or spill occurs. “The main plotline of so many data…

Jul 26, 2022
Crime, Media, Culture: An International Journal

Surveillance does not equal safety: Police, data and consent on dating apps

“As dating apps continue to receive pressure from civil society, media and governments to address a range of safety concerns, technology companies have developed and deployed a…

Jul 10, 2022
The Markup

After Dobbs, Advocates Fear School Surveillance Tools Could Put Teens at Risk

Kendra Albert discusses surveillance tools that could put teens at risk post Dobbs. “I’m always more worried about times when you just add more keywords to the system compared…

Jul 8, 2022
The New York Times

Payment Data Could Become Evidence of Abortion, Now Illegal in Some States

Alejandra Caraballo speaks about the privacy issues surrounding the payment data that financial companies collect when it comes to evidence of abortion.  “Alejandra…

Jun 29, 2022

Fear, Uncertainty, and Period Trackers

Kendra Albert writes about the uncertainty surrounding period trackers, and breaks down the fears behind privacy issues surrounding such apps. “Period trackers are not the…

Jun 28, 2022
Boston 25 News

Here’s how to protect yourself from being tracked by your Wi-Fi signal

David O’Brien speaks with Boston 25 News about protecting yourself from being tracked by your Wifi signal. “A big part of the problem is that when wireless protocols were…

May 23, 2022

'Trust isn't built by just one policy.' Abortion care rights in the workplace are complicated

Alejandra Caraballo speaks about privacy issues surrounding abortion care rights in the workplace. “Once you criminalize the activity, it opens up so much more leeway for law…

May 18, 2022
The New Republic

Public Defenders Are About to Be on the Front Lines for Protecting Abortion Rights

Alejandra Caraballo provides an overview on how surveillance technology can impact prosecutions in the Post-Roe era. People are rightly already asking, What would happen to me…

May 16, 2022

If Tech Fails to Design for the Most Vulnerable, It Fails Us All

Afsaneh Rigot connects Telegram in Russia, Elon Musk’s Twitter plans, and threats to abortion access and safety...

May 15, 2022
Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Design From the Margins

Centering the most marginalized and impacted in design processes—from ideation to production

This report outlines how Design From the Margins can be used to build technologies for decentered cases from the beginning of the design process…

May 13, 2022

Extremely Online: Data privacy after Roe v. Wade

Alejandra Caraballo discusses privacy issues in tech relating to abortions.  "Alejandra Caraballo is a clinical instructor at the Harvard Cyberlaw Clinic. From…

May 12, 2022

Tech Companies Are Not Ready for a Post-Roe Era

Alejandra Caraballo writes about how tech companies have to grapple with limiting abortion access in the United States. “Tech companies will wake up on the day the Dobbs v…

May 4, 2022

Elon Musk wants end-to-end encryption for Twitter DMs. It may not be that simple

Bruce Schneier discusses how end-to-end encryption could look for Twitter DMs. Twitter's relatively smaller size — its global user base is a fraction of Facebook, Instagram and…

Apr 30, 2022
The Atlantic

Why COVID Vaccine Cards Are So Easily Forged

Cybersecurity expert Bruce Schneier explains that paper vaccine cards strike a good balance between ease and security.

Mar 8, 2022

Breached! Why Data Security Law Fails and How to Improve It

Daniel Solove and Woodrow Hartzog have devised a series of recommendations to better Internet governance in "Breached! Why Data Security Law Fails and How to Improve It."

Mar 3, 2022
Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Don’t Call Us Edge Cases – Designing From the Margins

Afsaneh Rigot explains why Design from the Margins is necessary and salutary...

Feb 4, 2022
UC Berkeley Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity

Choices, Risks, and Reward Reports

Reinforcement learning could be the most promising path to artificial general intelligence. But Tom Zick and a team of other researchers urge caution in a new report.

Feb 1, 2022
The Markup

The Shadows of Removed Posts Are Hiding in Plain Sight on Reddit

Sameer Hinduja explains the implications of a security flaw on Reddit that allow removed posts to continue to be viewed.

Dec 16, 2021
The University of Chicago Law Review

What is Privacy? That's the Wrong Question

Woodrow Hartzog writes that “Privacy is still a concept in disarray. But that’s okay."

Nov 24, 2021
Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Why Online Anonymity Matters

Afsaneh Rigot writes that requirements for real identities on the Internet pose immense safety and security issues — especially for marginalized persons.

Nov 9, 2021
Alan Turing Institute

Mistrust of government in context of repressive states as a driver of slow acceptance of digital IDs

Babatunde Okunoye shares insight on why digital identity projects have faced slow user acceptance and adoption in parts of Africa.

Sep 23, 2021

The Flaws of Policies Requiring Human Oversight of Government Algorithms

Ben Green argues that human oversight policies allow the government to use flawed or controversial algorithms without addressing the fundamental issues with the tools — and…

Sep 10, 2021

​Apple’s proposed new child safety features and the problems with privacy tradeoffs

Shreya Tewari shares the problems with proposals that compromise user privacy in favor of other important goals.

Sep 9, 2021

How digital surveillance thrived in the 20 years since 9/11

David O'Brien explains how the two decades since the September 11 terrorist attacks have involved a broad expansion of government surveillance powers.

Sep 8, 2021

Why Current Botnet Takedown Jurisprudence Should Not Be Replicated

Asaf Lubin explains the problems with current efforts to prevent cybercrime.

Jul 21, 2021

Nigeria: There can be no digital identity (ID) without digital security

Babatunde Okunoye explains the importance of digital security for ID systems.

Jul 20, 2021
The Blockchain Socialist

Decentralizing Power and Value with P2P Models

Samer Hassan shows how blockchain technology can create collaborative economies.

Jun 20, 2021

Apple iPhones Can Soon Hold Your ID. Privacy Experts Are On Edge

Elizabeth Renieris considers the pitfalls of Apple’s new ID feature.

Jun 12, 2021
The New York Times

Google Seeks to Break Vicious Cycle of Online Slander

Danielle Citron comments on Google’s efforts to reduce slander.

Jun 10, 2021
Harvard Business Review

The Coming AI Hackers

Bruce Schneier is interviewed about the future of AI hacking.

Jun 9, 2021

Hacked drones and busted logistics are the cyber future of warfare

In a post for Brookings, Bruce Schneier and colleague argue that cybersecurity vulnerabilities are a major part of warfare.

Jun 2, 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
Data & Society

The Impact of Dark Patterns on Communities of Color

Jasmine McNealy and Stephanie Nguyen recap an FTC Workshop Panel Discussion

May 17, 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 risks…

Apr 29, 2021
The Conversation

NSW Police want access to Tinder’s sexual assault data. Cybersafety experts explain why it’s a date with disaster

Zahra Stardust and colleagues on cybersecurity and dating apps

Apr 28, 2021
IEEE Spectrum

Bruce Schneier Wants You to Make Software Better

A profile of Bruce Schneier in IEEE Spectrum

Apr 28, 2021
BKC Medium Collection

What happened with digital rights in Africa in Q1 2021?

Tunde Okunoye shares an overview of developments in digital rights in Africa for the BKC Medium Collection.

Apr 12, 2021
Boston 25 News

David O’Brien on ransomware attacks

David O’Brien spoke with Boston 25 News about ransomware attacks and the ransomware industry

Apr 8, 2021
Democracy in Danger

The Wild We‪b‬

Danielle Citron joins the Democracy in Danger podcast.

Apr 5, 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
Boston 25 News

David O’Brien on privacy considerations for third-party vaccine websites

David O’Brien shares insight on using third-party vaccine scheduling websites

Mar 31, 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
The Washington Post

Danielle Citron on deepfakes

Danielle Citron explains how deepfakes are becoming easier to create and harder to spot

Mar 13, 2021

Bitcoin’s Greatest Feature Is Also Its Existential Threat

Bruce Schneier co-authors op ed on Bitcoin vulnerabilities

Mar 9, 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
BKC Medium Collection

Nigeria’s revised Cybersecurity Policy

Tunde Okunoye on codifying bug bounty programs in cybersecurity practice

Feb 28, 2021
Journal of Medical Internet Research

Revolutionizing Medical Data Sharing Using Advanced Privacy-Enhancing Technologies: Technical, Legal, and Ethical Synthesis

Effy Vayena and colleagues publish in Journal of Medical Internet Research

Feb 26, 2021
Tech Policy Press

Disclosures of NYPD Surveillance Technologies Raise More Questions Than Answers

Desmond Patton is cited in an overview of NYPD surveillance technologies

Feb 23, 2021
The New York Times

Why Was SolarWinds So Vulnerable to a Hack?

Bruce Schneier says the market economy played a significant role in the SolarWinds attack.

Feb 23, 2021
HBS Digital Initiative

Ifeoma Ajunwa on the limitless boundaries of employee surveillance

Ifeoma Ajunwa discusses employee surveillance with HBS Digital Initiative

Feb 8, 2021
The Washington Post

The government will guard Biden’s Peloton from hackers. What about the rest of us?

Bruce Schneier says the security threat to worry about is the one facing the public, not the president

Feb 2, 2021
The New York Times

What Happens When You Click ‘Agree’?

Woodrow Hartzog quoted by the New York Times editorial board

Jan 23, 2021

The SolarWinds hack is stunning. Here's what should be done

Bruce Schneier offers cybersecurity advice for responding to the SolarWinds attack.

Jan 5, 2021
Just Security

SolarWinds as a Constitutive Moment: A New Agenda for the International Law of Intelligence

Asaf Lubin calls the SolarWinds Hack a "constitutive moment" in Just Security

Dec 23, 2020
The Guardian

The US has suffered a massive cyberbreach. It's hard to overstate how bad it is

In The Guardian, Bruce Schneier says the US must rethink its cybersecurity protocols

Dec 23, 2020
Foreign Policy

The Peril of Persuasion in the Big Tech Age

Persuasion is essential to society and democracy, but we need new rules governing how companies can harness it, argue Bruce Schneier and colleague

Dec 11, 2020

Big Tech’s latest moves raise health privacy fears

Nick Couldry and colleague argue data about intimate details of our lives should not be exploited by corporations

Dec 6, 2020
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

Software snoops on students during exams

Leah Plunkett provides insight into student surveillance during the pandemic

Nov 11, 2020
Harvard Law Today

‘We need to be more imaginative about cybersecurity than we are right now’

BKC co-directors James Mickens and Jonathan Zittrain discussed today’s cybersecurity challenges at a recent event.

Oct 7, 2020
Armchair Expert

Leah Plunkett joins Armchair Expert podcast

Plunkett discusses sharing kids’ data on social media

Sep 17, 2020
The Atlantic

The Pandemic Is No Excuse to Surveil Students

Zeynep Tufecki discusses college COVID-19 apps in an op-ed for The Atlantic.

Sep 4, 2020
The Boston Globe

Getting the First Amendment wrong

Woodrow Hartzog and Neil Richards argue that Clearview AI is wrongfully trying to use the First Amendment to ensure a freedom to surveil at will.

Sep 4, 2020
The Wall Street Journal

Remote Learning During Pandemic Brings Privacy Risks

Report from Quentin Palfrey and colleagues examines privacy risks of online education

Sep 2, 2020

COVID-19: A spotlight on child data governance gaps

Emma Day and colleagues share challenges related to the protection of children’s data during the COVID-19 pandemic

Aug 31, 2020

Education monitoring tech soars as result of Covid-19

Leah Plunkett discusses privacy concerns about online education

Aug 24, 2020
BKC Medium Collection

Beware of Apps Bearing Gifts in a Pandemic

Researchers share concerns about free services and public health interventions by tech companies

Aug 18, 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
The Atlantic

The Twitter Hacks Have to Stop

Bruce Schneier explains the recent Twitter hack

Jul 18, 2020
Museum of the Moving Image

Surveillance of Black Lives

Apryl Williams, Mutale Nkonde, and Allissa V. Richardson speak at event

Jul 16, 2020
Washington Blade

Tech experts fear new US broadcasting chief could jeopardize LGBTQ Internet freedom

Afsaneh Rigot says internet privacy and security measures are critical safety tools

Jul 7, 2020
Digital Freedom Fund

The Grave and Growing Dangers of Border Surveillance

Technological systems should be reimagined to include the needs and the rights of refugees, Dragana Kaurin argues.

Jun 20, 2020

Zoom responds to privacy backlash by giving all its users end-to-end encryption

Bruce Schneier talks end-to-end encryption with CNN

Jun 18, 2020
The Wall Street Journal

Google, Apple Struggle to Regulate Covid-19 Tracing Apps

Quentin Palfrey led research study of more than 100 apps

Jun 5, 2020
Bloomberg Quint

Surveillance Technology Will Only Get More Intense After Covid

Bruce Schneier on contact tracing apps:  “The smartphone is the most invasive surveillance device our species has ever invented. I don’t see what’s happening now [during…

Jun 2, 2020

Worker Health Monitoring Post-COVID-19 Raises Equity and Public Health Concerns

BKC's Mary Gray on the role of corporations in public health and worker surveillance

May 26, 2020

The fight over our post-COVID future should be as much about welfare as it is about tech

Surveillance thrives in unequal environments, and the pandemic will increase inequality. We need a welfare state for our digital information economy, argues Beatriz Botero Arcila.

May 18, 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
Harvard Law Review Blog

Cyber Civil Rights in the Time of COVID-19

Civil rights protections are as necessary in virtual spaces as in physical ones, Danielle Citron says

May 14, 2020
Scientific American

The Answer to a COVID-19 Vaccine May Lie in Our Genes, But ...

We shouldn’t risk our genetic privacy to find it, writes Ifeoma Ajunwa

May 13, 2020
LA Times

Coronavirus tracing apps are coming. Here’s how they could reshape surveillance as we know it.

Woodrow Hartzog warns about the long-term consequences of the apps

May 12, 2020
New York Daily News

We need disease surveillance, not a surveillance state

Woodrow Hartzog and Evan Selinger argue against using facial recognition to combat COVID-19

May 11, 2020

All’s Clear for Deep Fakes: Think Again

Danielle Citron and colleagues on the significance of deep fakes

May 11, 2020

Your Boss May Soon Track You At Work For Coronavirus Safety

Ifeoma Ajunwa on worker surveillance

May 8, 2020

How your passwords can end up for sale on the dark web

Bruce Schneier shares insight into password security

May 8, 2020
The Hill

Digital contact tracing is becoming available, but is it effective?

Bruce Schneier spoke to The Hill about the use of digital contact tracing.

May 7, 2020

An Entire City Has Been Told To Download A Controversial Contact Tracing App

Bruce Schneier shares his opinion on contact tracing apps

May 6, 2020

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
BuzzFeed News

Contact Tracing Is One Of Our Best Shots To Reopen The Country, If We Don't Blow It

Without enough human contact tracers to identify infected people, the US is barreling toward a digital solution, and possible disaster.

Apr 29, 2020

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
Americas Quarterly

Latin America Hopes Big Data Can Beat the Virus. But There Are Risks.

Beatriz Botero Arcila warns that while location data might help address the coronavirus outbreak, it also threatens the privacy of citizens.

Apr 21, 2020

Natick students’ online messages on school platforms are analyzed for potential danger and distress

A Vermont company uses artificial intelligence to identify messages of distress, including those made by Natick students.

Apr 18, 2020

You’re Working From Home, but Your Company Is Still Watching You

BKC faculty associate Ifeoma Ajunwa explains why oversurveillance of a workforce can turn counterproductive

Apr 18, 2020

Privacy Versus Health Is a False Trade-Off

As tech firms team up with governments to fight the coronavirus pandemic, we’re being asked to accept a trade-off between our digital privacy and our health. It’s a false choice,…

Apr 17, 2020
The Washington Post

Be very wary of Trump’s health surveillance plans

Danielle Citron on why technology’s promise is only as good as those who control it

Apr 16, 2020

COVID-19 and the Digital Rights Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an equally urgent digital rights crisis.

Apr 16, 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
The Politic

An Interview with Bruce Schneier, Renowned Security Technologist

The BKC fellow discusses cryptography with The Politic

Apr 1, 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
Fast Company

Forget Facebook: Zoom is the tech industry’s newest problem child

Fast Company cites BKC's Doc Searl’s blog post on Zoom and Privacy

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
The College Fix

Colleges deny using facial recognition technology after high-profile academics shame them

More than 150 academics, scholars and tenured faculty from colleges across the country have signed an open letter that names and shames colleges for using facial recognition…

Mar 25, 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

We need privacy and data laws to tackle this global pandemic

Governments are increasingly using digital technologies and big data analytics to address the Covid-19 pandemic. At this stage of the pandemic, these technologies may not deliver…

Mar 18, 2020

The government might want your phone location data to fight coronavirus. Here’s why that could be okay.

David O’Brien argues that the American government will have to walk a fine line if it wants to get useful information while still preserving citizens’ privacy rights.

Mar 18, 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
Foreign Policy

How Hackers and Spies Could Sabotage the Coronavirus Fight

Why aren’t we better prepared?

Feb 28, 2020

The system is rigged against users

Another reason why getting compensated for data is not a good idea

BKC fellow Beatriz Botero Arcila on why getting compensated for your personal data is not a good idea.

Feb 24, 2020

Why Europe's GDPR magic will never work in the US

Woodrow Hartzog argues that any US version of GDPR would, in practice, be something of a GDPR-lite.

Feb 20, 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

Why We Need a Federal Privacy Law

Mutale Nkonde spoke to Coindesk about surveillance capitalism and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

Feb 8, 2020
The Atlantic

A World Without Privacy Will Revive the Masquerade

As the growing scale of facial recognition shows, more data can always be extracted.

Feb 7, 2020

ICE now uses cellphone location data to help arrest immigrants

Dragana Kaurin speaks to the problems that arise when law enforcement uses location data.

Feb 7, 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
The New York Times

We’re Banning Facial Recognition. We’re Missing the Point.

The whole point of modern surveillance is to treat people differently, and facial recognition technologies are only a small part of that.

Jan 20, 2020
The New York Times

The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It

Faculty associate Woodrow Hartzog spoke to the New York Times about the harrowing consequences of facial recognition

Jan 18, 2020
The Washington Post

The Justice Department’s new quarrel with Apple

The deadly December shooting of three U.S. sailors at a Navy installation could reignite a long-simmering fight between the federal government and tech companies over data privacy…

Jan 17, 2020
Foreign Policy

China Isn’t the Only Problem With 5G

The network has plenty of other security weaknesses, including ones the U.S. doesn’t want to fix since they help its own surveillance efforts.

Jan 10, 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. Listen…

Jan 8, 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
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 “sharenting”…

Dec 16, 2019

Why Sharing Your Disney+ Or Netflix Password Is A Bad Idea

David O’Brien says password sharing is highly inadvisable.

Dec 2, 2019

Disney+ Has a Hacking Problem

David O’Brien talks password security with Gizmodo

Nov 18, 2019
The Guardian

The rise of microchipping: are we ready for technology to get under the skin?

As implants grow more common, experts fear surveillance and exploitation of workers.

Nov 8, 2019
New York Magazine

Danielle Citron on Deepfakes and the Representative Katie Hill Scandal

Danielle Citron reflects on her career, current events, and the future

Oct 31, 2019

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

Leah Plunkett discusses her new book with WNYC

Oct 30, 2019

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

Why technologists need to get involved in public policy

We will never get the policy right if policymakers get the technology wrong, Bruce Schneier says.

Oct 10, 2019

Why You Can’t Really Consent to Facebook’s Facial Recognition

While the social media platform’s latest approach to facial recognition appears to respect user’s choices, the offer is so tainted we can’t truly agree to it

Sep 30, 2019
The New York Times

Every Part of the Supply Chain Can Be Attacked

When it comes to 5G technology, we have to build a trustworthy system out of untrustworthy parts

Sep 25, 2019

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 Insurability of Cyber Risk

The public policy case for limited legal interventions in the indemnification of categories of cyber harm

Sep 21, 2019

The real threat from China isn't "spy trains"

China is more likely to try to get data from the US communications infrastructure, says Bruce Schneier

Sep 21, 2019
Open Technology Fund

Examining the Expanding Web of Chinese and Russian Information Controls

Valentin Weber tracks the global diffusion of repressive information controls and techniques

Sep 17, 2019
The Wall Street Journal

Tips for Keeping Your Mobile Phone (Relatively) Safe

You can’t eliminate all the personal data your phone collects and shares about you. But you can limit it.

Sep 17, 2019

What digital nerds and bio geeks have to worry about

As synthetic biology "programming" reaches the complexity of traditional computer programming, the risks of computer systems will transfer to biological systems.

Sep 12, 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

Cyber Experts Warn Of Vulnerabilities Facing 2020 Election Machines

Bruce Schneier comments on election security for NPR

Sep 4, 2019

The Myth of Consumer Security

The distinction between military and consumer products largely doesn't exist

Aug 26, 2019

Shared E-Scooter Users Risk not Just Injury but Also Their Privacy

BKC report proposes responsible privacy-protective approaches for cities

Aug 23, 2019
The Notebook

Cyber operator exposed students’ personal data

Faculty associate explains why FERPA is difficult to enforce

Aug 22, 2019
Foreign Policy

8 Ways to Stay Ahead of Influence Operations

With election meddling inevitable in 2020, the United States needs a powerful kill chain

Aug 12, 2019
The Register

You can easily secure America's e-voting systems tomorrow. Use paper.

Non-internet-connected election systems are actually connected to the internet

Aug 9, 2019
Bloomberg Law

Ransomware, Data Breaches Expose Gaps in Cyber Insurance Market

Can insurance companies refuse to cover the costs of a cyberattack linked to nation-state actors?

Jul 24, 2019
The Enterprisers Project

“Liars and Outliers” named a must-read book on security

The Enterprisers Project highlights Bruce Schneier’s Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to Thrive

Jul 15, 2019

Apple's iCloud could get Face ID and Touch ID support with iOS 13

Apple is testing new sign-in options for iCloud, but there are privacy concerns

Jul 7, 2019
The New York Times

Smile, Your City Is Watching You

Local governments must protect your privacy as they turn to “smart city” technology.

Jun 27, 2019
The New York Times

We Must Prepare for the Next Pandemic

We’ll have to battle both the disease and the fake news, writes BKC’s Bruce Schneier

Jun 17, 2019

AI Has Made Video Surveillance Automated and Terrifying

AI can flag people based on their clothing or behavior, identify people's emotions, and find people who are acting "unusual”

Jun 13, 2019
Foreign Policy

AI Can Thrive in Open Societies

The belief that China’s surveillance gives it an advantage is misleading—and dangerous, argues Bruce Schneier

Jun 13, 2019
Boston Review

Democracy’s Dilemma: Forum Response

Henry Farrell and BKC’s Bruce Schneier write a Forum Response to reactions to their earlier essay

Jun 12, 2019

Microsoft Wants More Security Researchers to Hack Into Its Cloud

As Microsoft works on cloud security, it’s looking to attract `White Hat’ hackers with rewards and legal guarantees.

Jun 7, 2019

Should Researchers Be Allowed to Use YouTube Videos and Tweets?

A new paper used YouTubers’ voices to guess what they looked like. Was it ethical? Casey Fiesler weighs in.

Jun 3, 2019
Canadian Underwriter

Huawei a small part of an ‘insurmountably hard problem’ of cybersecurity

The controversy over telecommunications equipment from Chinese manufacturer Huawei is just the tip of a large cyber risk iceberg, Bruce Schneier warns.

May 22, 2019

Surveillance technology under fire, amid growing societal concerns

As San Francisco halts city use of facial recognition technology, CIOs could see more regulatory actions against surveillance technology -- and more limits on their use of data.

May 21, 2019

We Are Tenants on Our Own Devices

While are benefits of “smart” technology, they also afford companies significant control over the devices.

May 20, 2019

Some US Cities Are Moving into Real-Time Facial Surveillance

Gretchen Greene lends insight into the adoption of facial recognition technology in police departments across the U.S.

May 17, 2019

The Bizarre Accuracy of Online Ads

A Case Study of Trackers on the Internet

Ad tracking services are disturbingly effective.

May 16, 2019
World Refugee Council

Data Protection and Digital Agency for Refugees

How the vast amount of data collected from refugees is gathered, stored and shared today

May 14, 2019

Enveloped in Suspicion

Envelopes are one of those banal objects of everyday life we seldom think much about. They are, however, an ancient — and at one time controversial — privacy technology.

May 14, 2019

Measuring Censorship On Mobile App Stores

Billions of users interact with and download apps on major app stores on a daily basis. It is important for them to know why certain apps that they might have been using, or would…

May 3, 2019
The New York Times

Think You’re Discreet Online? Think Again

Thanks to “data inference” technology, companies know more about you than you disclose.

Apr 21, 2019

Facial recognition is the plutonium of AI

"It's dangerous, racializing, and has few legitimate uses; facial recognition needs regulation and control on par with nuclear waste."

Apr 17, 2019
Boston Globe

Can predictive policing help stamp out racial profiling?

Some algorithms assume crime in one location leads to others nearby. Others identify specific people most likely to be involved in violence. Both can lead to discrimination.

Apr 17, 2019

Towards Formalizing the GDPR's Notion of Singling Out

Defining predicate singling out, a new type of privacy attack intended to capture the concept of singling out appearing in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Apr 15, 2019

A Talk with Smart City Skeptic, Ben Green

Ben Green's work as a data scientist in city governments informed his critical view of the "smart city" tech that could influence city life and society for decades to come.

Apr 14, 2019

'Smart city' technology alone cannot solve social problems, author argues

Ben Green argues that cities are adopting “smart” technology without thinking through the political ramifications of the technology.

Apr 12, 2019
The Guardian

Julian Assange's charges are a direct assault on press freedom, experts warn

Academics and campaigners condemned large chunks of the indictment that they said went head-to-head with basic activities of journalism protected by the first amendment of the US…

Apr 12, 2019
The Boston Globe

So There Are People Behind Alexa’s Curtain. Will Anyone Care?

Making smart speakers and technologies smarter, but what about privacy?

Apr 11, 2019
BKC Medium

Thoughts on personal data vs non-personal data

How the government, or regulators, can start thinking about privacy and the data economy

Apr 3, 2019
USA Today

Anyone can easily hack into your phone.

Just ask Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

Five tips to secure your phone - it might not keep a foreign country determined to strike away, but it will strengthen your security.

Mar 31, 2019
the Hill

AirDrop used for sexual harassment on public transit

An unsolicited picture shared over Apple's AirDrop leads to questions over how the technology is governed.

Mar 29, 2019

Machines Shouldn’t Have to Spy On Us to Learn

How do we expand the benefits of machine learning, while protecting privacy?

Mar 25, 2019
How We Get to Next

Scientists Like Me Are Studying Your Tweets—Are You OK With That?

"Public" data ethics: Best practices for social media researchers

Anything “public” on social media may be fair game, but researchers should be more ethical about using that data

Mar 19, 2019
Just Security

A Legislative Shot at Internet of Things Security

A recently unveiled proposal for regulating the Internet of Things in the US falls short in some areas, but could make some significant strides towards advancing the status quo

Mar 19, 2019
Fast Company

What Mark Zuckerberg’s new vision could really mean for privacy and propaganda

Some critics worry the new privacy push is also a way to dodge regulation and avoid moderating content: “The devil is in the details.”

Mar 10, 2019
Boston Globe

In major shift, Facebook puts focus on users’ privacy

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg unveiled a major strategy shift on Wednesday, declaring that the world’s largest social network will develop a highly secure…

Mar 6, 2019

Cities Are Not Technology Problems: What Smart Cities Companies Get Wrong

Many companies equate new technology with innovation, but actual innovation in cities means using tech in concert with bureaucracy, on-the-ground awareness, and challenging political choices.

Innovation can mean more than just "use new technology."

Mar 4, 2019
Fast Company

Here are the data brokers quietly buying and selling your personal information

You’ve probably never heard of many of the data firms registered under a new law, but they’ve heard a lot about you.

Mar 1, 2019
Dark Reading

9 Years After: From Operation Aurora to Zero Trust

How the first documented nation-state cyberattack is changing security today.

Change is a constant in the security industry, and being willing to change as needed is one of the key growth factors in any business — large or small.

Feb 20, 2019
Annals of Internal Medicine

Are Requirements to Deposit Data in Research Repositories Compatible With the GDPR?

The requirements of the GDPR are increasingly coming into conflict with the requirements of research communities

Feb 19, 2019

Are Data Dividends Really a Good Idea?

Christine Borgman comments on the feasibility of California's "data dividends" proposal

Feb 14, 2019
The Hill

Machines don’t necessarily fix our biases, they mirror them.

We should not trust an algorithm unless it can be reviewed and audited in meaningful ways.

Feb 13, 2019

Can Big Tech be fixed?

The US might get a federal privacy bill this year

Feb 13, 2019

The Tech Industry is Hijacking School Data. But Decentralized Systems Can Change That.

When it comes to children’s school data we should ask who controls it, what is it worth and how will it impact their lives.

Feb 13, 2019
Just Security

Election Security

Questions for the House Homeland Security Hearing

Should Congress and federal agencies be sharing and receiving more with platforms like Facebook to aid them in enforcing better moderation policies?

Feb 12, 2019

Change how Facebook uses our data

Scandals underscore the need to regulate use of customers' information

"Facebook needs to change how it handles user data and personal information."

Feb 11, 2019
Economic and Political Weekly

On WhatsApp, Rumours, and Lynchings

In the last decade, India has seen multiple rounds of communal violence in which rumour and information technology played a role

Feb 9, 2019
Working Paper

A User-Focused Transdisciplinary Research Agenda for AI-Enabled Health Tech Governance

A research agenda for stakeholders to proactively collaborate and design AI technologies that work with users to improve their health and wellbeing

Feb 4, 2019

African countries must work together for Good ID

Berkman Klein Fellow Titi Akinsanmi discusses how policy for digital ID could develop in 2019 and what she hopes to see globally and on the African continent.

Jan 28, 2019
Linux Journal

Is Privacy a Right?

The story we tell about our right to privacy an interesting one, but distracts us away from work that needs to be done. 

Jan 23, 2019

DuckDuckGo's private searches will pull up Apple Maps results

The recent partnership between privacy-focused search tool Duck Duck Go and Apple has an uncertain implications for the future of privacy on the engine.

Jan 15, 2019

Artificial Intelligence vs. the Hackers

Machine-learning algorithms watch hackers’ behavior and adapt to their evolving tactics.

A profile of "Data Cowboy" Ram Shankar Siva Kumar, who trains security algorithms

Jan 3, 2019
Washington Post

It’s time to try something different on Internet privacy

"US lawmakers need to embrace a different approach to Internet privacy based around the concept of trust, rather than the failed concepts of notice and choice."

Dec 19, 2018

Book Review: The attack of the killer fridges has begun

The world is ever more connected via the internet, from cars and power grids to home appliances and toys. That means ever more things are dangerously hackable.

Dec 14, 2018

Upcoming Bill Would Lock Down Agencies' Internet-Connected Devices

A new bill "leverages federal purchasing power to create pro-security market pressure and … serves as a model for the implementation of similar standards elsewhere."

Dec 6, 2018
New York Times

To Reduce Privacy Risks, the Census Plans to Report Less Accurate Data

Guaranteeing people’s confidentiality has become more of a challenge, but some scholars worry that the new system will impede research.

Dec 5, 2018
Ribbon Farm

The Digital Maginot Line

We are immersed in an evolving, ongoing conflict: an Information World War in which state actors, terrorists, and ideological extremists leverage the social infrastructure…

Nov 28, 2018

The Most Damaging Election Disinformation Campaign Came From Donald Trump, Not Russia

The Kremlin has been focused on undermining trust in American democracy and elections, but Donald Trump and the Republicans have done it better than Russia ever could.

Nov 19, 2018

Surveillance Kills Freedom By Killing Experimentation

How surveillance hurts our democratic values

Nov 16, 2018
Schneier on Security

Information Attacks against Democracies

The same fake news techniques that benefit autocracies by making everyone unsure about political alternatives undermine democracies by making people question the common political…

Nov 15, 2018
Boston 25 News

Unlocking your phone’s secrets

Devices give access to those willing to pay up

David O’Brien on tools used by law enforcement to crack into suspects' personal digital devices

Nov 13, 2018

We need stronger cybersecurity laws for the Internet of Things

Making Internet-connected devices more secure will require smarter regulations

Nov 8, 2018

How Youth Are Reinventing Instagram and Why Having Multiple Accounts Is Trending

Our Youth & Media team looked at how teens are using social media to figure out who they are.

Nov 2, 2018

Common-Knowledge Attacks on Democracy

Scaling up computer security arguments to the level of the state, so that the entire polity is treated as an information system with associated attack surfaces and threat models,…

Oct 29, 2018
CBC Spark

Restaurants have strict standards to protect customers. Tech platforms don't

Online tech platforms should become “information fiduciaries”

Oct 26, 2018
The Atlantic

Nobody’s Cellphone Is Really That Secure

All phones are vulnerable to hacking

Oct 26, 2018

Debating Ethics & Privacy

BKC shares insights on privacy with governments at the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners

Oct 26, 2018
Just Security

Conscientious Objectors and Whistleblowers

Sentencing Should Recognize First Amendment Interests

Mailyn Fidler writes about First Amendment interests in a recent case regarding whistleblowing.

Oct 18, 2018

Acquisitions in the third party tracking industry

competition and data protection aspects

A role for antitrust authorities in the third party tracking industry

Oct 18, 2018
Everyday Matters

Don’t Leave It All to Facebook

The U.S. Should Do More To Protect Our Data Privacy

Who makes sure that companies collecting your personal data operate in ways that benefit, rather than exploit, you?

Oct 12, 2018

Stop Saying Privacy in Dead

Privacy still exists. You just have to know where to look for it so you know what to fight for.

Oct 11, 2018
New York Times

Internet Hacking Is About to Get Much Worse

If our devices, information, and institutions are to remain secure, smart government regulation is inevitable

Oct 11, 2018
Council on Foreign Relations

Three Problems with India’s Draft Data Protection Bill

India is attempting to create a complex new framework for data protection that will require firms to physically host user data, but they might be moving too fast.

Oct 3, 2018
Harvard Gazette

Why your online data isn’t safe

To really prioritize user privacy would also mean to compromise an underlying business model that has been very successful

Oct 2, 2018
Harvard Business Review

Platforms Should Become Information Fiduciaries

Internet companies need "information fiduciaries" to ensure that the consumer's best interest is kept at heart.

Sep 19, 2018
Washington Post

Don’t fear the TSA cutting airport security. Be glad that they’re talking about it.

Despite largely negative media coverage of the subject, it is a good thing that TSA is brainstorming ways to optimize security in airports

Aug 7, 2018
SAGE Journals

The Surveillant Consumer

Exploring the emergence of consumer surveillance

Jul 25, 2018

You Are Entering an Ephemeral Bio-allowed Data Capture Zone

Regulating, not banning, facial recognition technology

Jul 23, 2018
Intelligence Squared

Blockchain: Quantum leap forward or digital snake oil?

Faculty Associate Primavera De Filippi joins a debate discussing Blockchain, what it is, and whether it is deserving of its current hype.

Jul 2, 2018

Why personal agency matters more than personal data

Privacy is an effect of personal agency, projected by personal tech and personal expressions of intent that others can respect without working at it

Jun 23, 2018

Regarding the usage of surveillance equipment in the City of Boston

It is urgent that Boston develop policies that comprehensively account for what surveillance means today.

Jun 19, 2018

Projects, Programs, and Tools 08


The Nymity project posits the utility of pseudonymous, text-based communication platforms in promoting civil discourse within closed-network environments. Our approach is inspired…

Privacy Tools

The Privacy Tools Project is a broad effort to advance a multidisciplinary understanding of data privacy issues and build computational, statistical, legal, and policy tools to…

Youth and Media

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


Assembly: Disinformation

The Assembly: Disinformation Program brings together participants from academia, industry, government, and civil society from across disciplines to explore and make progress on…


Privacy Initiatives

The Berkman Klein Center has long been home to a number of cross-disciplinary initiatives that investigate privacy and privacy-relevant questions in the digitally networked…


The goal of SocialPhysics is to give people more control over their digital identities: their online identities, personal information and social relationships.


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…



The Surveillance project is drawing a map of the different forms and impacts of surveillance online. Funded by the MacArthur Foundation and run in collaboration with our partner…

People 85

Ifeoma Ajunwa

Faculty Associate

Lisa Austin

Visting Scholar

Solon Barocas

Faculty Associate

Fernando Bermejo

Faculty Associate

Beatriz Botero Arcila

Faculty Associate

Afua Bruce


Yves Daccord


Judith Donath

Faculty Associate

Samson Esayas

Faculty Associate

Robert Faris


Mailyn Fidler

Faculty Associate

Urs Gasser


Woodrow Hartzog

Faculty Associate

Benjamin Mako Hill

Faculty Associate

Sameer Hinduja

Faculty Associate

Leslie John

Faculty Associate

Greg Leppert


Harry Lewis

Faculty Associate

Andres Lombana-Bermudez

Faculty Associate

Asaf Lubin

Faculty Associate

Colin Maclay

Faculty Associate

David J. Malan

Faculty Associate

Florian Martin-Bariteau

Faculty Associate

Jasmine McNealy

Faculty Associate

Peter Micek


Victor Munoz


Matt Olsen


David Opderbeck

Faculty Associate

Yong Jin Park

Faculty Associate

Jon Penney

Faculty Associate

Najarian Peters

Faculty Associate

Leah Plunkett

Faculty Associate

Neil Richards

Faculty Associate

Hilary Ross


Aaron Shaw

Faculty Associate

Alicia Solow-Niederman

Faculty Associate

Abbey Stemler

Faculty Associate

Zahra Takhshid

Faculty Associate

Zeynep Tufekci

Faculty Associate

Salomé Viljoen

Faculty Associate

Kerstin Vokinger

Faculty Associate

Sandra Wachter

Faculty Associate

j. Siguru Wahutu

Faculty Associate

Anne Washington

Faculty Associate

Christo Wilson

Faculty Associate

Ethan Zuckerman

Faculty Associate