Industry Unbound: The Inside Story of Privacy, Data, and Corporate Power

Posted on Tuesday, October 19, 2021

The University of Ottawa Centre for Law, Technology and Society presents:


Industry Unbound

The Inside Story of Privacy, Data, and Corporate Power


Ari Ezra Waldman

Tuesday, October 19, 2021
at 11:30 ET


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Join us for a conversation with Professor Ari Ezra Waldman around Industry Unbound, his latest book explaining why privacy law isn’t working, showing how tech companies manipulate us, our behaviour and our law.

There are many new privacy laws, tens of thousands of privacy professionals and new privacy offices all tasked with protecting our privacy from inside the information industry. So why does our privacy seem more out of reach than ever? Sunglasses that spy, in-home assistants that listen to everything, websites that track our every move online. These aren’t accidents. The system is working just as it's designed to work. In Industry Unbound: The Inside Story of Privacy, Data, and Corporate Power, (Cambridge University Press, 2021), Professor Ari Ezra Waldman exposes exactly how the tech industry conducts its ongoing crusade to undermine our privacy, undermine privacy law and subjugate us all in the process. Based on nearly four years of research (interviews, observations, embedded fieldwork and reviews of confidential documents),  Industry Unbound shows that tech companies do not just lobby against privacy law, they also manipulate how we, their employees and policymakers think about privacy, how their engineers design new technologies and how their privacy professionals — regardless of their good intentions — are manipulated and co-opted into serving industry’s surveillance goals. While many claim that privacy law is getting stronger, Industry Unbound shows otherwise: Recent changes in privacy laws are exactly the kinds of changes that corporations want, with even those who consider themselves privacy advocates often unknowingly complicit in data extraction.


The conversation will be facilitated by Professor Valerie Steeves, a CLTS Faculty member and the co-lead of The eQuality Project.


About the Speaker

Ari Ezra Waldman (he/him) is a professor of law and computer science and Faculty Director of the Center for Law, Information, and Creativity at Northeastern University. He researches the ways in which law and technology reify traditional structures of power, with particular focus on privacy, law and society, civil rights, and the LGBTQ+ community. He has written two books and published nearly thirty scholarly articles in leading law reviews and peer-reviewed journals, including the Michigan Law Review, the California Law Review, the Cornell Law Review, and Law & Social Inquiry, among others. Ari has also won numerous awards for his scholarship, including twice winning the Best Paper Award at the Privacy Law Scholars Conference, and was recently named one of the World’s Top 20 Thinkers by Prospect UK Magazine.

Dr. Waldman is an Affiliate Fellow of Yale Law School’s Information Society Project, a former Belfer Fellow of the Center for Technology and Society at the Anti-Defamation League, a member of the Board of Directors of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, and an Advisory Board member of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. He is also the founder of @Legally_Queer, an Instagram-based project educating the public about law and LGBTQ history and current events.

He holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Columbia University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and an A.B., magna cum laude, from Harvard College.


This event will be in English only.
This event will be recorded.

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