The Information Law Institute (ILI), a research center at the Law School devoted to the study of law, policy, and technology as they relate to information and information technology in digitally networked societies, announced today that it has received a $1 million gift from Microsoft Corp.

The unrestricted gift will enable ILI to expand its Fellows’ Program. Started in 2009, the Program has supported young law school graduates and post-doctoral researchers conducting privacy research at the intersection of technology, policy, law, and ethics. ILI plans to broaden the program to include two important areas of information law over the next four years: cyber-security and IT innovation studies, including antitrust.

"Urgent privacy questions surrounding social media, health IT, Big Data, law enforcement and national security often defy existing law, policy, and theory," said Helen Nissenbaum, ILI director and an NYU professor with joint appointments at the School of Law and in the Departments of Media, Culture and Communication, and Computer Science. "We are delighted that this generous gift from Microsoft will allow ILI to expand its support of outstanding young scholars pursuing foundational as well as applied research."

To date ILI Fellows have produced academic publications, empirical user studies, appellate briefs (e.g.,United States v. Jones), and public comments (e.g. contributing substantially to the White House and FTC privacy frameworks). In mobile and health IT privacy projects, ILI Fellows have engaged in positive deliberations with government and industry groups, including with researchers, developers, and policy experts.. Former fellows have gone on to clerkships, public interest advocacy organizations, tenure track assistant professorships, private legal practice, and industry research.

"Insights from NYU's scholars have helped to advance the community's understanding on some of the most important issues in technology and the law today," said Brad Smith, Microsoft’s General Counsel and Executive Vice President, Legal and Corporate Affairs. "We are thrilled to be able to support NYU's work and to help ensure we can all continue to learn from their thought leaders."

ILI Fellows in the new research areas will interact with the faculty, global scholars, and fellows of ILI and NYU Law’s Engelberg Center for Innovation Law and Policy, including Barton BeebeRochelle DreyfussHarry FirstJeanne FromerIra Rubinstein, and Katherine Strandburg, as well as with Samuel Rascoff, faculty director of NYU Law’s Center on Law and Security.

Posted on June 4, 2013