Yearly Archives: 2014

See You at the AALS?

I’ll be chairing a panel on “Automated Decision-Making” at the AALS’s Jan 2015 conference. It’s co-sponsored by the Section on Internet and Computer Law and the Section on Defamation and Privacy.

Please come by and say hello, or send an email and maybe we can meet up some other time. One of the good things about the AALS is a chance to see old friends and it’s been a while since I went to one.

The panel, Saturday at 10:30am, should be well worth your time:

Proliferating sensors, affordable data storage, indiscriminate personal data collection, and increasingly robust predictive algorithms individually raise issues related to privacy, security, and due process. Combined, however, these technological advances have created a nearly insatiable appetite for data in order to improve organizational decision-making. The domains across which this voracity reaches include consumer lending, insurance, advertising, legal compliance, national security, and employment.

Automated decision-making promises accuracy and efficiency, but it is also rife with peril. Humans irrationally trust decisions made by computers, even though bias is easily hard-wired into computer systems. The use of personal data to make extremely nuanced and particularized decisions raises a number of privacy concerns. Incorrect inputs risk correspondingly erroneous outputs. Automated decision-making could also have a disparate impact on vulnerable populations that are susceptible to certain kinds of influence or that find it hard to fight back. Compounding this problem is the almost complete lack of meaningful transparency for those subjected to automated decisions.

Policy makers are struggling to respond to the challenges posed by automated decision-making. This panel will explore those challenges and will attempt to identify similarities and differences among the varied domains in which automated decision-making operates.

Moderator:

A. Michael Froomkin, University of Miami School of Law

Panelists:

  • Meg Leta Ambrose, Georgetown University School of Communication, Culture & Technology
  • Frank Pasquale, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law
  • Dennis D. Hirsch, Capital University Law School
  • Michael Rich, Elon University School of Law

DATE: Saturday, 1/3/2015

TIME: 10:30 am-12:15 pm

ROOM: Thurgood Marshall West, Mezzanine Level, Marriott Wardman Park Hotel

Posted in Talks & Conferences | Leave a comment

My Congressperson Calls Americans “Pigs”

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen thinks we are Yankee imperialist pigs?

This is what my my Representative said after we normalized relations with Cuba:

“We are saying to the Yankee imperialist pigs, come and own a piece of Cuba, we are for sale, and those who have money, come on over because it’s a fire sale.”

Posted in Politics: FL-25/FL-27 | 1 Comment

Heidelberg Talk Video Posted

Gesticulating

From Anonymity to Identification: Online Communication in a Time of Surveillance | Prof. Michael Froomkin (Audio: MP3) (Video: MP4 / OGV)

I can’t thank my hosts in Heidelberg enough for the warmth of their welcome and their kindness while we visited.

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Cuba

The US approach to Cuba stopped making sense decades ago. Opening exchanges with Poland helped dislodge the Communist regime; the same is likely to happen to Cuba in the future. Maintaining the embargo with Cuba has done more to empower the dictatorial Castro regime than anything else we could do. So I’m all for the resumption of diplomatic relations because it furthers US interests, human rights, and the humanitarian cause of reuniting separated families. It likely will further the cause of freedom in Cuba.

But there’s another reason why this is good: the revanchist faction among Cuban-Americans is overwhelmingly Republican. It’s good politics for a President to reward his friends and ignore — or punish — his enemies. So this is good politics for Obama: serve the US national interest and hit his enemies at the same time.

I hope it’s a sign of what we can hope for in the next two years from Obama: No more Mr. Nice Guy.

Posted in Politics: International, Politics: US | Leave a comment

Food for Thought

While I enjoy fine dining in Paris, check out The Evil Waiter Case in the U. Miami Law Review.

Posted in Readings | Leave a comment

Off to Heidelberg

Thursday I’ll be discussing From Anonymity to Identification: Online Communication in a Time of Surveillance.  My hosts are the Netzpolitik AG of the University of Heidelberg, which translates, I think, as the Network Working Group and is an interdisciplinary network of young researchers at the University of Heidelberg.

My thoughts on the topic of online anonymity are considerably grimmer than they were even two years ago.

Posted in Talks & Conferences | 2 Comments