PRIVACY + SECURITY BLOG

News, Developments, and Insights

Data Leaks: Déjà Vu All Over Again

Déjà vu.  All over again.  And again.  Yet another data security break, as if the scores of breaches announced earlier weren’t already enough.  A short while ago, I posted about a tally of the security breaches indicating that the personal data of over 5 million people had been leaked or improperly accessed.  Now this, from the AP [link […]

Identity Thief Professors?

If you’re a professor, want to make a quick buck?  Apparently, some professors have joined the ranks of identity thieves.  A community college professor stole the identities of three of his students and used them to fill out credit card applications in the students’ names.  According to a CNN story [link no longer available]:

Brian Tamanaha on Problems with Instrumental Views of the Law

Brian Tamanaha (law, St. John’s), has written a provocative article called The Perils of Pervasive Legal Instrumenalism.  He observes that “[a]n instrumental view of law–the idea that law is an instrument to achieve ends–is taken for granted in the United States, almost a part of the air we breathe.”  Such a view, however, creates a serious problem: […]

Why I Believe the Bar Exam Should be Abolished

Despite my enjoyment of the Bar Exam as a work of jurisprudence, I believe that the Bar Exam should be abolished.  It prevents mobility among lawyers, making it cumbersome and time consuming to move to different states.  It does not test on actual law used in legal practice, but on esoteric legal rules, many of which are obsolete, […]

How Credit Reporting Agencies Are Scamming the Free Credit Report Requirement

This year, pursuant to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) of 2003, credit reporting agencies must provide people with one free credit report per year.   This is gradually being phased in this year.  People can obtain their reports from this website: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp. Earlier this year in his blog, law professor Eric Goldman discussed the difficulties and inconveniences he […]

Blogging Can Get You Sued: Privacy Tort Suit Against Washingtonienne Blog

Back in the summer of 2004, a clerk on Capitol Hill blogged about her sexual exploits on a blog called Washingtonienne.  A very interesting article in the Washington Post Magazine describes what happened: The instant message blinked on the computer at Jessica Cutler’s desk in the Russell Senate Office Building. “Oh my God, you’re famous.” Before she could […]

Security, Privacy, and Shark Bites

Recent discussions regarding the Real ID Act follow the same general path as many discussions about the trade-offs between security and privacy.  These discussions typically begin with taking a security proposal and then weighing it against its costs to privacy and civil liberties.  What is often not done, however, is to put the security proposal through meaningful […]

The Multistate Bar Exam as a Theory of Law

What is the most widely read work of jurisprudence by those in the legal system?  Is it H.L.A. Hart’s The Concept of Law?  Ronald Dworkin’s Law’s Empire?  No . . . it’s actually the Multistate Bar Exam. Almost all lawyers have read it.  Although the precise text is different every year, the Bar exam presents a jurisprudence that transcends the specific […]

Teaching Information Privacy Law

Since this blog is read by many new law profs, I thought I’d recommend information privacy law as a course you might consider teaching.  (I have a casebook in the field, so this is really a thinly-disguised self-plug.)  Information privacy law remains a fairly young field, and it has yet to take hold as a course taught consistently in […]

How Private is Our Email? Councilman’s unfinished business

In United States v. Councilman, a 1st Circuit panel held that email intercepted contemporaneously with its transmission did not fall under the protections of the Wiretap Act.  The case went en banc and an opinion has yet to issue.  Orin Kerr at the VC just wrote a post about recent developments about the issue.   He writes: Congress has […]