A partnership between UCLA School of Law and UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, the Institute for Technology, Law & Policy examines the benefits and risks presented by technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, robotics, cybersecurity and digital media and communications.
These and other rapidly evolving technologies raise questions germane to the outcome of ethical and public policy issues, the applicability and utility of current laws and regulations that govern their use.
- December 6, 2021 - Journal of Free Speech Law Series:
ITLP Small Grants Program
The UCLA Institute for Technology, Law and Policy (ITLP) invites applications from students at all levels, as well as faculty, for interdisciplinary projects aimed at addressing a pressing technology and policy issue.
The goals of this small grants program include:
- Supporting the educational and professional development of UCLA students.
- Fostering inter-disciplinary research at UCLA.
- Generating innovating new solutions to challenges at the interface of law and technology.
For more information, please visit here: request for proposals.
ITLP produces podcasts featuring a series of conversations with thought leaders on important topics at the intersection of technology, law, and policy. Watch or listen to the podcasts.
The Destabilization Experiment
Political institutions, including the opposition parties, are reaching for any weapons they can find against the president’s use of social media and messaging apps.
The government has taken no action, and with elections approaching, Russia stands to directly influence the country’s political direction for its own benefit.
The platform must work with communities on the ground to design policies on moderation and be fully transparent about them.
The Philippines ranks first for social media use. Facebook's failure to curb abuses in the the Philippines shouldn't be met with laws targeting individual users.
Social media platforms alternate between ignoring disinformation and launching broad crackdowns on user speech.
Who We Are
- Executive Director
- Faculty Director
Alexandra MataProgram Coordinator
Leeza ArbatmanLeeza Arbatman is a student at UCLA Law. At ITLP she is conducting research on the scope of First Amendment protection for anonymous online expression. In law school, she has taken part in UCLA's First Amendment "Pop Up" Clinic and California Environmental Legislation and Policy Clinic, and served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Susan Illston of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Before coming to UCLA, she worked for a criminal justice organization and interned at NPR member station KQED. She earned her undergraduate degree in sociology at UC Santa Cruz.
Leo HuangLeo Huang is a J.D. candidate at UCLA law. He is conducting research on privacy issues regarding facial recognition and freedom of expression concerns regulating social media at the Institute for Technology, Law, and Policy. In addition, he enjoys thinking about challenging legal and societal issues technologies brought forth. Before law school, Leo worked as a technical specialist at Finnegan, focusing on patent drafting and prosecution. He received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from National Tsinghua University.
Bharath GururagavendranBharath Gururagavendran is an LLM student at UCLA, specializing in International & Comparative Law. At ITLP, he is researching challenges to freedom of expression and privacy, stemming from the deployment of facial recognition technology, and questions concerning the regulation of social media. After completing his undergraduate law degree in India, he was the recipient of the LAMP (Legislative Assistant to Member of Parliament) Fellowship, and worked under Member of Parliament Shri. Asaduddin Owaisi. He is interested in researching challenges to Human Rights in the digital space from a Constitutional & International lens.
Leeza Arbatmen & John Villasenor, "Anonymous Expression and 'Unmasking' in Civil and Criminal Proceedings," forthcoming in the Minnesota Journal of Law, Science, and Technology, 2022.
Mark Verstraete & Tal Zarsky, "Optimizing Breach Notification," forthcoming in the University of Illinois Law Review (2021).
Michael Karanicolas, "A FOIA For Facebook," 66 forthcoming in the Saint Louis University Law Journal (2021).
Mark Verstraete, "Inseparable Uses," 99 North Carolina Law Review 427 (2021).
Michael Karanicolas, "Too Long; Didn't Read: Finding Meaning in Platforms’ Terms of Service Agreements," 51 University of Toledo Law Review 1 (2021).
Michael Karanicolas, "Even in a Pandemic, Sunlight Is the Best Disinfectant: COVID-19 and Global Freedom of Expression," 22 Oregon Review of International Law 101 (2021).
Virginia Foggo and John Villasenor, “Algorithms, Housing Discrimination, and the New Disparate Impact Rule,” 22 Columbia Science and Technology Law Review 1 (2021).
Virginia Foggo, John Villasenor, and Pratyush Garg, “Algorithms and Fairness,” 17 Ohio State Technology Law Journal 123 (2020).
John Villasenor and Virginia Foggo, "Artificial Intelligence, Due Process, and Criminal Sentencing," 2020 Michigan State Law Review 295 (2020).
John Villasenor, "Soft Law as a Complement to Regulation," The Brookings Institution, July 31, 2020
Rebecca Wexler and John Villasenor, "How well-intentioned privacy laws can contribute to wrongful convictions," The Brookings Institution, February 11, 2020
John Villasenor, "Artificial Intelligence, Geopolitics, and Information Integrity," The Brookings Institution and ISPI, January 2020
John Villasenor, "Products liability law as a way to address AI harms," The Brookings Institution, October 2019
Short articles, op-eds, and blogs
Ally Boutelle and John Villasenor, “The European Copyright Directive: Potential impacts on free expression and privacy,” The Brookings Institution, February 2, 2021
John Villasenor, “Zoom is Now Critical Infrastructure. That’s a Concern,” The Brookings Institution, August 27, 2020
John Villasenor, "Why creating an internet "fairness doctrine" would backfire," The Brookings Institution, June 24, 2020
John Villasenor, "Why Colleges Should Pool Teaching Resources," The Chronicle of Higher Education, June 4, 2020
John Villasenor, "Online college classes are here to stay. What does that mean for higher education?," The Brookings Institution, June 1, 2020
John Villasenor and Virginia Foggo, "Why a proposed HUD rule could worsen algorithm-driven housing discrimination," The Brookings Institution, April 16, 2020
John Villasenor, "Six Steps to Prepare for an Online Fall Semester," The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 8, 2020
John Villasenor, "Why I Won't Let My Classes Be Recorded," The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 10, 2020
John Villasenor, "Preparing Today's Students for an AI Future," The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 13, 2019
John Villasenor, "Deepfakes, social media, and the 2020 election," The Brookings Institution, June 3, 2019
John Villasenor and Virginia Foggo, "Algorithms and sentencing: What does due process require?," The Brookings Institution, March 21, 2019
John Villasenor, " Artificial intelligence, deepfakes, and the uncertain future of truth," The Brookings Institution, February 14, 2019
John Villasenor, "Artificial intelligence and bias: Four key challenges," The Brookings Institution, January 3, 2019
In addition to the individual videos listed below you can also view the ITLP YouTube channel.
- December 3, 2021 - Journal of Free Speech Law Series:
- December 1, 2021 - Journal of Free Speech Law Series:
- November 17, 2021 - Panel: Transparency and Corporate Social Responsibility:
- November 8, 2021 - Journal of Free Speech Law Series:
- November 1-5, 2021 - Conference: Power and Accountability in Tech:
- October 26, 2021- Journal of Free Speech Law Series:
- October 22, 2021 - Workshop: Calibrating Data Surveillance:
- October 20, 2021: Ethics in Tech with Dunstan Allison-Hope and Michael Karanicolas:
- October 12, 14, 15, 2021 - Workshop: The Future of Open Source:
- October 6, 2021: Ethics in Tech with Dr. Achuta Kadambi and Dr. Safiya Noble:
- September 22, 2021: Ethics in Tech with Eva Galperin and Alan Rozenshtein:
- September 13, 2021 - Panel: AI Inventors and Patent Law:
- September 8, 2021 - Panel: iSpy - War Crimes and Digital Documentation:
- August 25, 2021: Ethics in Tech with Cory Doctorow and Sarah Roberts:
- August 12, 2021: Facial recognition and Entrenching Racial Discrimination:
- July 29, 2021: Misinformation and Synthetic Media:
- July 15, 2021: Life Interrupted: the Impacts of Internet Shutdowns:
- July 1, 2021: When American Companies Moderate Global Content:
- June 17, 2021: Censorship and State Repression of Online Speech:
- June 3, 2021: A Space for Everyone? Debating Online Platforms and Common Carriage Rules:
- February 11, 2021: Does the Government Have the Right to Control Content Moderation Decisions?:
- January 28, 2021: The Future of Internet Speech: How Online Content Shapes Offline Events:
Power and Accountability in Tech
November 1, 2021 - November 5, 2021
About the event
The explosive growth of the tech sector has allowed private sector companies to amass an extraordinary amount of power, to the point where these entities exercise control over virtually every aspect of our day-to-day lives. In response, scholars, regulators, and civil society advocates have advanced a range of proposals aimed at boosting public accountability across this sector. These include legal solutions, such as algorithmic fairness rules, as well as novel extra-legal structures, including new multi-stakeholder bodies which aim to provide a layer of public engagement and accountability independent of government control. There are also increasing calls for tough action to bring these companies to heel, from antitrust investigations to new privacy or data protection rules meant to disrupt the data-hungry business models that many tech giants were built around. The diverse, and even contradictory, nature of these potential solutions reflects a highly diffuse understanding of what accountability should look like for these new power structures, and of the proper social response to the unprecedented influence being wielded by the tech sector.
Program and Videos
This event will host a series of conversations aimed at framing our understanding of power and accountability in the tech space and generating common understandings of the goal of regulation in this space. The speakers will address a range of topics related to the consolidation of power and will reflect a diversity of perspectives on these vital issues
12:00 - 1:30 pm - Scoping the Problem: Governance Without Accountability
- Sarah Roberts, Associate Professor, Gender Studies, UCLA
- Wafa Ben-Hassine, Principal, Responsible Technology, Omidyar Network
- Nathaniel Raymond, Lecturer, Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, Yale University
- André Brock, Associate Professor of Black Digital Studies, Georgia Institute of Technology
- Moderated by: Michael Karanicolas, Executive Director, UCLA Institute for Technology, Law, and Policy
12:00 - 1:30 pm - Scoping the Problem: Between a Rock and a Hard Place
- Evelyn Aswad, Professor of Law, University of Oklahoma; Facebook Oversight Board
- Bernard Shen, Assistant General Counsel, Microsoft Corporation
- Moderated by: Dunstan Allison-Hope, Vice President, BSR (Business for Social Responsibility)
12:00 - 1:30 pm - Scoping the Problem: The Limits of Regulation
- Mark Lemley, Professor of Law, Stanford
- Kendra Albert, Clinical Instructor, Director for the Initiative for a Representative First Amendment, Berkman Klein Center For Internet & Society, Harvard Law School
- Chinmayi Arun, Resident Fellow, Yale Information Society Project
- Moderated by: Eugene Volokh, Professor of Law, UCLA
12:00 - 1:30 pm - Scoping the Problem: The Challenges of Regulation
- Ann Cavoukian, Executive Director, Global Privacy & Security by Design Centre, Ryerson University; formerly Information & Privacy Commissioner of Ontario
- Eduardo Bertoni, Representative of the Regional Office for South America of the Inter American Institute of Human Rights; formerly National Data Protection Authority of Argentina.
- Alex Alben, Lecturer, UCLA Law School, formerly Chief Privacy Officer for Washington State
- Moderator: Andrew Selbst, Assistant Professor, UCLA
9:00 - 9:10 am - Welcome and Introductions
9:10 - 10:30 am - Panel 1: Understanding Concentrations of Power
- Nik Guggenberger, Yale ISP
- Kate Klonick, St. John’s Law School
- James Park, UCLA
- Moderator: Jane Bambauer (Arizona)
10:30 - 10:40 am - Break
10:40 am - 12:00 pm - Panel 2: Scoping Tech Accountability
- Milton Mueller, Georgia Tech
- Margot Kaminski, Associate Professor, University of Colorado Law
- Mark McKenna, Professor of Law, UCLA
- Katherine J. Strandburg, Professor of Law, New York University School of Law
- Moderator: Mark Verstraete (UCLA)
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm - Breakout Room Paper Presentations
- Room 1: Mapping Social Media Policy Proposals to Harms: Three Interventions and Their Limitations, Matthew Marinett, University of Toronto Faculty of Law.
- Room 2: The Technologization of Insurance: An Empirical Analysis of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence’s Impact on Cybersecurity and Privacy, Shauhin A. Talesh and Bryan Cunningham, University of California, Irvine School of Law.
- Room 3: Children’s Online Privacy and the Case Against Parental Consent, Zahra Takhshid University of Denver Sturm College of Law.
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm - Panel 3: New Accountability Pressures
- Nandini Jammi, Co-founder, Check My Ads
- Jessica Dheere, Executive Director, Ranking Digital Rights
- Moderator: Isedua Oribhabor, Business and Human Rights Lead, AccessNow
2:30 - 3:30 pm - Breakouts/Paper Presentations
- Room 1: Online misinformation: improving transparency in content moderation practices of social media companies, Alessia Zornetta, McGill University.
- Room 2: Probing Personal Data, Lilla Montagnani, Bocconi University, and Mark Verstraete, UCLA Institute for Technology, Law & Policy.
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm - New Accountability and Governance Structures
- Wendy Seltzer, Strategy Lead and Counsel, W3C
- Goren Marby, CEO and President, ICANN
- David Kaye, Clinical Professor of Law, University of California, Irvine; Chair of Board of Directors, Global Network Initiative (GNI); formerly UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression
- Moderated by Michael Karanicolas, Executive Director, UCLA Institute for Technology, Law, and Policy
Algorithmic Criminal Justice?
A Symposium Hosted by the UCLA School of Law, January 24, 2020
About the Symposium
Algorithms are playing a growing role in both policing and criminal justice. In theory, algorithms can provide information that can help promote analytical rigor, objectivity and consistency. But they can also reflect and amplify biases inadvertently introduced by their human creators and biases present in data.
This event convened a diverse set of national thought leaders to engage with a key set of critically important questions on the proper role of algorithms in policing and in the criminal justice system. Topics addressed include, 1) approaches to identify and mitigate algorithmic bias, 2) the unique challenges and opportunities associated with the subset of algorithms that use AI, 3) ways to spur technological innovation so that the positive potential of algorithmic approaches in policing and criminal justice can be realized, while also protecting against the downsides, 4) the relative roles of the public and private sectors in developing, deploying, and ensuring the quality of new algorithmic solutions, and 5) approaches that can help ensure that algorithmic approaches enhance, rather than undermine, civil liberties.
Program and Videos
Welcoming remarks and introductions - Video
Panel 1: Creating Algorithms for Justice - Video
- Alex Alben (moderator) – UCLA
- Colleen Chien – Santa Clara University
- Eric Goldman – Santa Clara University
- Rebecca Wexler – UC Berkeley
Panel 2: Algorithmic Policing - Video
- Jeff Brantingham – UCLA
- Beth Colgan (moderator) – UCLA
- Catherine Crump – UC Berkeley
- Andrew Ferguson – American University
- Orin Kerr – UC Berkeley
Panel 3: Algorithmic Adjudication - Video
- Chris Goodman – Pepperdine University
- Sandy Mayson – University of Georgia
- Richard Re (moderator) – UCLA
- Andrew Selbst – UCLA
- Chris Slobogin – Vanderbilt University
Panel 4: Regulation and Oversight - Video
- Jane Bambauer – University of Arizona
- Gary Marchant – Arizona State University
- Ken Meyer – Los Angeles District Attorney's Office
- Mohammad Tajsar – ACLU of Southern California
- John Villasenor (moderator) – UCLA
Keynote: Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter – Federal Trade Commission - Video