Information Law Institute



Helen Nissenbaum

Helen Nissenbaum is Professor of Media, Culture and Communication, and Computer Science, at New York University, where she is also Director of the Information Law Institute. Her work spans social, ethical, and political dimensions of information technology and digital media. She has written and edited five books, including Values at Play in Digital Games, with Mary Flanagan (forthcoming from MIT Press, 2014) and Privacy in Context: Technology, Policy, and the Integrity of Social Life (Stanford University Press, 2010) and her research publications have appeared in journals of philosophy, politics, law, media studies, information studies, and computer science. The National Science Foundation, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Ford Foundation, US Department of Homeland Security, and the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of the National Coordinator have supported her work on privacy, trust online, and security, as well as several studies of values embodied in computer system design, search engines, digital games, facial recognition technology, and health information systems. Nissenbaum holds a PhD in philosophy from Stanford University and a BA (Hons) from the University of the Witwatersrand. Before joining the faculty at NYU, she served as Associate Director of the Center for Human Values at Princeton University.

Faculty Fellows

Barton Beebe

Barton Beebe joined NYU School of Law in the Fall 2009 from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Barton Beebe received the Class of 2007 Award for Best Professor. Prior to joining Cardozo’s faculty, he clerked for Judge Denise Cote of the United States District Court of the Southern District of New York. Professor Beebe received his JD from Yale Law School, where he was an editor of the Yale Law Journal and an articles editor of the Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities, his PhD in English Literature from Princeton University, where he was a Whiting Fellow in the Humanities, and his BA from the University of Chicago (Phi Beta Kappa). In 2007, Professor Beebe served as a Special Master, with Professor Daniel J. Capra, in Louis Vuitton Malletier v. Dooney & Bourke, Inc., No. 04 Civ. 2990 (SAS) (SDNY). Professor Beebe’s teaching and scholarship focuses on intellectual property law.

Florencia Marotta-Wurgler

Florencia Marotta-Wurgler ’01 teaches Contracts, Commercial Law, and Topics in E-Commerce. Her expertise is on online contracting in general and software licensing in particular. Her published research has addressed online standard form contracting with delayed disclosure; contracting in the presence of seller market power; and, online dispute resolution clauses including arbitration. Her current research documents the extremely low readership rate of standard form contracts by consumers and discusses implications for regulation of standard terms. Professor Marotta-Wurgler earned a BA in Economics, magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania, and a JD, cum laude, from the NYU School of Law, where she was a Robert McKay Scholar and winner of the Daniel G. Collins Prize for Excellence in Contract Law. Before joining the faculty she was an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell, a Corporate Fellow at the Center for Corporate, Securities, and Financial Law at Fordham University School of Law, and a Leonard Wagner Fellow in Law and Business at the Pollack Center for Law and Business at NYU Law and Stern School of Business.

Erin Murphy

Erin Murphy joined the NYU faculty in 2010 from UC Berkeley School of Law. Her research explores issues related to technology, state power, and the criminal justice system, with a particular emphasis on street crime. Murphy has written extensively in the area of forensic DNA typing, most recently in Relative Doubt: Familial Searches of DNA Evidence (Michigan Law Review, forthcoming), and has co-authored work at the intersection of law and science with Dr. Montgomery Slatkin and Dr. Yun Song. Murphy's article Paradigms of Restraint (Duke Law Journal) won the AALS Criminal Justice Section 2008 award for best paper by a junior scholar, and her work has been cited by the US Supreme Court. Murphy teaches courses related to criminal law, criminal procedure and evidence. She is a graduate of the Harvard Law School, where she served as notes editor of the Harvard Law Review, and a former clerk to the Honorable Merrick B. Garland of the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Murphy practiced for five years as an attorney with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, where she represented clients in felony and misdemeanor cases in jury and bench trials, argued before the DC Court of Appeals, and led a widely watched constitutional challenge to the District of Columbia’s firearms law.

Samuel Rascoff

Samuel J. Rascoff joined the NYU School of Law faculty in June 2008. He came to the Law School from the New York City Police Department, where, as Director of Intelligence Analysis, he created and led a team responsible for assessing the terrorist threat to the city. A graduate of Harvard (summa cum laude), Oxford (First Class Honors), and Yale Law School, he previously served as a law clerk to US Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter and to Judge Pierre N. Leval of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He was also a special assistant with the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq. As an associate at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, his practice focused on the settlement of complex litigation. Rascoff teaches and writes in the areas of national security law, counterterrorism, and regulatory law and policy. His recent publications include Domesticating Intelligence (So. Cal. L. Rev.) and The Law of Homegrown (Counter) Terrorism (Tex. L. Rev.). Named a Carnegie Scholar in 2009, Rascoff’s current research focuses on understanding “Official Islam.”

Ira Rubinstein

Ira Rubinstein is a Senior Fellow at the Information Law Institute. His research interests include Internet privacy, electronic surveillance law, online identity, and Internet security. Rubinstein lectures and publishes widely on issues of privacy and security and has testified before Congress on these topics on several occasions. In September 2009, he organized a conference at the law school on Federal Privacy Legislation, and he participated in the December 2009 Federal Trade Commission Roundtable: Exploring Privacy. In July 2010, he testified at a hearing on a new privacy bill, H.R. 5777, the Best Practices Act, before the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection. In 2011, he was awarded a research grant to explore regulatory issues related to “privacy by design.” He discussed his paper Regulating Privacy by Design at a 2011 Boalt Hall Law School symposium on Technology: Transforming the Regulatory Endeavor, and his paper will be published in the Symposium Issue of the Berkeley Technology Law Journal (forthcoming 2012). Most recently, he co-authored, with Professor Dennis Hirsch, a paper entitled Better Safe than Sorry: Designing Effective Safe Harbor Programs for Consumer Privacy Legislation. Other recent publications include Privacy and Regulatory Innovation: Moving Beyond Voluntary Codes, 6 I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society 356 (2011), which was selected by the Future of Privacy Forum in their best “Privacy Papers for Policy Makers” competition, and Data Mining and Internet Profiling: Emerging Regulatory and Technological Approaches, co-authored with Ron Lee and Paul Schwartz, 75 U. Chi. L. Rev. 261 (2008). Prior to joining the ILI, Rubinstein spent 17 years in Microsoft’s Legal and Corporate Affairs department, most recently as Associate General Counsel in charge of the Regulatory Affairs and Public Policy group. Before coming to Microsoft, he was in private practice in Seattle, specializing in immigration law. He graduated from Yale Law School in 1985. From 1998-2001, Rubinstein served on the President's Export Council, Subcommittee on Encryption. He has also served on the Editorial Board of the IEEE Security and Privacy Magazine. In 2010, he joined the Board of Directors of the Center for Democracy and Technology. He was a Board member of the Seattle Public Library Foundation from 2006-2011 and previously served on the Board of Governors of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and as a Trustee of the American Immigration Lawyers Foundation.

Katherine Strandburg

Katherine Strandburg joined NYU School of Law in the Fall 2009 from DePaul University College of Law. A distinguished intellectual property scholar, Kathy’s research interests are in patent law, science and technology policy, law and network science, social norm theory, and information privacy law. Trained as a physicist, Kathy’s scholarship is informed by her experience as a research scientist and her interdisciplinary perspective. Before embarking on a legal career, Kathy received her PhD from Cornell University in 1984 and was a postdoctoral researcher at Carnegie Mellon from 1984 to 1987. She also conducted research with the Condensed Matter Theory Group at Argonne National Laboratory from 1987 to 1992, and was a visiting faculty member of the physics department at Northwestern University from 1990 to 1992. Kathy earned her law degree from the University of Chicago Law School with high honors in 1995 and clerked for the Honorable Richard D. Cudahy of the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Diane Zimmerman

Diane Leenheer Zimmerman is the Samuel Tilden Professor of Law Emerita at NYU School of Law. An award-winning reporter for Newsweek and the New York Daily News, Diane Zimmerman left journalism to pursue a career in the law. In 1977, after graduating from Columbia Law School and clerking for Judge Jack B. Weinstein in the Eastern District of New York, she joined the faculty at New York University School of Law. Issues of civil liberties—particularly women’s rights, and freedom of speech and conscience—propelled Zimmerman from journalism into law, and she has taught, lectured, and written extensively on all of these subjects. Her other major area of academic specialization is intellectual property. Outside activities include chairing the First Amendment Rights Committee of the American Bar Association for five years. She has also chaired the Civil Rights Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and served on its Copyright, Professional Ethics, Communications and Media Law Committees. In the field of intellectual property, Zimmerman serves on the executive committee of the Copyright Society’s board of trustees. She is a member of the editorial board of the Society’s Journal as well as that of the Communication Law and Policy Journal. Professor Zimmerman has been an expert witness for the Judiciary Committee of the United States Senate, and a member of the National Coalition Against Censorship’s Working Group on Women, Censorship and Pornography. The Second Circuit appointed Zimmerman Reporter for the Gender Committee of the Second Circuit Task Force on Gender, Racial and Ethnic Fairness.

Senior Research Fellow

Kate Crawford

Kate Crawford is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and a Visiting Professor at the MIT Media Lab in the Centre for Civic Media. Over the last ten years she has researched the social, political and cultural contexts of networked media technologies. She studies a wide range of data practices, including the ethics of big data, crisis informatics, networked journalism, and the everyday patterns of mobile and social media use. She has conducted both small and large-scale ethnographic studies in Australia, India and the US. Previously, Crawford was the Deputy Director of the Journalism and Media Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, and a founding member of the Media and Communications Department at the University of Sydney. Kate is on the editorial boards of the Fibreculture Journal: Digital Media, Networks, and Transdisciplinary Critique, and Media International Australia.

Research Fellows

Seda Güerses

Seda Gürses is a post-doctoral research fellow in the Media, Culture and Communications Department working on privacy, security, surveillance studies and requirements engineering. Recently, she has been empirically studying and critically reflecting on the assumptions and methods that inform prominent strands of privacy research within computer science. Further topics of interest in her research include questions of privacy and design in online social networks, anonymity as a cultural and technical phenomenon, feminist critique of computer science and activist use of information technologies. Previously Seda was a post-doctoral researcher at COSIC (Computer Security and Industrial Cryptography) in the Department of Electrical Engineering of the KU Leuven and, recently, a visiting researcher at the e-Humanities Group of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in Amsterdam. At COSIC she acted as the coordinator of the interdisciplinary project SPION (Security and Privacy in Online Social Networks) funded by the Flemish Agency for Innovation in Science and Technology (IWT). Seda received her PhD at the Department of Computer Science of the KU Leuven, her Master's degree in Informatics at the Humboldt University Berlin (Germany), her B.S. in Mathematics and BA in International Relations and Peace from the University of Redlands in the USA. She is also a member of the interdisciplinary arts-lab Constant based in Brussels and has taught courses at the Ecole de Recherche Graphique in Brussels and at the Piet Zwart Institute for Media Design and Communication in Rotterdam.

Karen Levy

Karen Levy is a postdoctoral research associate in the Media, Culture, and Communications Department and in the Information Law Institute at New York University. Karen investigates how digital tools are used to enforce laws and rules, with a particular interest in the normalization of electronic surveillance within social and organizational settings, including homes and workplaces. Her research explores how digital monitoring changes social norms around accountability, discretion, and trust. Karen's dissertation work investigates how long-haul truckers in the United States contend with legal and organizational surveillance of their work practices. Karen holds a JD from Indiana University Maurer School of Law and a PhD in Sociology from Princeton University. She is also a fellow at the Data and Society Research Institute.

Heather Patterson

Heather Patterson is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Media, Culture, and Communications Department and in the Information Law Institute at New York University. Patterson researches changing social norms regarding personal information sharing and expectations of privacy, with an eye toward developing policy solutions that facilitate context-appropriate information flow. She received a JD from the UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) in 2012 and a PhD in cognitive psychology from the University of Washington in 2006. At Berkeley Law, Patterson worked within the Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic to develop a framework for evaluating the privacy implications of biometric technologies such as face recognition, iris scanning, and gait recognition, and to develop privacy standards for emerging Smart Grid technologies before the California Public Utilities Commission. Prior to law school, Patterson used behavioral and neuroimaging techniques to assess the cognitive and neural basis of language perception, face recognition, and biological motion detection. She also holds an MA in linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin and a BS in neurobiology and physiology from Purdue University.

Joris van Hoboken

Joris van Hoboken is a Microsoft Research Fellow in the Information Law Institute at New York University. His research addresses law and policy in the field of digital media, electronic communications and the internet, with a focus on privacy and freedom of expression. Specific research interests include the regulation of selection intermediaries and new forms of publicity in the online environment, such as search engine and social media publicity, and the regulation of user data collection and use by online service providers and the implications thereof for privacy, data protection, access to information and competition. A transatlantic comparison of different regulatory approaches to the online environment is a central feature of his research and teaching. Van Hoboken is a specialist in European data protection and privacy law, search engine law and regulation and he regularly writes, teaches and presents on issues and developments in data protection, intermediary liability and freedom of expression on the Internet. Previously, Van Hoboken was a senior researcher at the Institute for Information Law (IViR) at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands where he received a PhD in 2012 for his thesis on search engines and freedom of expression. In 2008, Van Hoboken was a Visiting Researcher at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. He has a degree in Law (LLM, 2006, cum laude) and Theoretical Mathematics (MSc, 2002, cum laude). Van Hoboken is the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Dutch digital rights organization Bits of Freedom.

Elana Zeide

Elana Zeide is a Microsoft Research Fellow at the Information Law Institute at New York University. Her research focuses on the law, policy, and cultural norms governing information flow in education. Specific research interests include the adequacy of formal and informal regulatory frameworks protecting student information in the face of technological innovation; the role of third parties and private actors in information flow involving public goods; and algorithmic accountability. Her work also explores the effect of digital dossiers on identity formation and reputation management, and jurisprudential efforts to reconcile the values of privacy and freedom of expression.

Elana came to the fellowship as a sole practitioner representing a wide array of traditional and digital media clients including NPR and The National Enquirer. She previously served as a visiting professor at Yale University, teaching courses on free speech and the First Amendment, as well as a legal analyst at Bloomberg LP, and as a litigation associate at Cravath Swaine & Moore LLC. She received her BA from Yale University and a J.D. and LL.M in Taxation from New York University’s School of Law. Elana also holds a M.F.A. in Nonfiction Writing from Columbia University’s School of the Arts and spent several years as a journalist in London and New York, writing for Rolling StoneNew York Magazine, and The Sunday Times, among others.

Visiting Research Fellows

Solon Barocas

Travis Hall

Student Fellow

Luke Stark

Luke Stark is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University under the supervision of Helen Nissenbaum; his dissertation research focuses on the history and philosophy of digital media technology and its use in tracking, modulating and shaping the anxious, everyday emotional lives of users. More broadly, Luke’s scholarship explores the changing nature of human subjectivity in the computational age. Other teaching and research projects have examined the changing dynamics of privacy and security in digital life; the connection between values and design in digital information systems and emerging DIY/maker practice; and the dynamic relationship between notions of the self and poetic forms both literary and computational. A native of Toronto, Canada, Luke holds an Honours BA in History & English and an MA in History, both from the University of Toronto; he has been generously funded by the Canadian Millennium Scholarship Foundation, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the National Science Foundation, the Government of Ontario, and New York University’s Provost’s Global Research Initiatives. Luke is a Student Fellow of the NYU School of Law's Information Law Institute (ILI), a member of the ILI's Privacy Research Group, and a Principal with PRGLab; he is a member of the Intel Science & Technology Center for Social Computing. Some of Luke's academic pursuits have been complimented by work in Issues Management and Strategic Communications Planning for the Ontario Ministries of Health and Long-Term Care and Natural Resources; other highlights from his eclectic résumé include sleep-away camp counselor, forest ranger, and ranch hand.

Past Fellows and Affiliates

Gaia Bernstein: 2002-2003
Finn Brunton: 2009-2010
Amanda Conley: 2009-2010
Niva Elkin-Koren: 2004-2005
Kenneth Farrall: 2009-2011
Martin French: 2012-2013
Roger Ford: 2011-2012
Joseph Lorenzo Hall: 2011-2012
Sophie Hood: 2012-2013
Jaime Madell: 2010-2011
Alice E. Marwick: 2009-2010
Laura Moy: 2010-2011
Nathan Newman: 2012-2014
Gregory Pomerantz: 2001-2002
Sasha Romanosky: 2012-2013
Andrew Selbst: 2011-2012
Elizabeth Stark: 2008-2009
Alan Toner: 2001-2002
Vincent Toubiana: 2009-2010
Philip Weiser: Fall 2008
Dr. Tal Zarsky: 2010-2011
Malte Ziewitz: 2012-2014
Michael Zimmer: 2004-2007
Jonathan Zittrain: Spring 2008


Nicole Arzt

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