John Villasenor

Professor of Electrical Engineering, Law, Public Policy, and Management
Faculty Co-Director, UCLA Institute for Technology, Law and Policy

  • B.S. University of Virginia, 1985
  • M.S. Stanford University, 1986
  • Ph.D. Stanford University, 1989

John Villasenor is a professor of electrical engineering, law, public policy, and management at UCLA, and is the faculty co-director of the UCLA Institute for Technology, Law, and Policy. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Professor Villasenor’s work addresses the intersection of technology, law, and policy, with a focus on topics including digital communications, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and privacy. He has published in many academic journals as well as in the Atlantic, Billboard, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Fast Company, Forbes, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, Scientific American, Slate, the Washington Post.

He has also provided congressional testimony on multiple occasions. Prior to joining the faculty at UCLA, Professor Villasenor was with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he developed methods of imaging the earth from space. He holds a B.S. degree from the University of Virginia, and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University.

A sampling of Professor Villasenor’s academic publications is below. To see a more extensive list of publications, please visit


  • Books
    • Unassailable Ideas: How Unwritten Rules and Social Media Shape Discourse in American Higher Education (with Ilana Redstone). Oxford University Press (2020).
  • Articles And Chapters
    • Ten Thousand AI Systems Typing on Keyboards: Generative AI in Patent Applications and Preemptive Prior Art, Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law (forthcoming 2024).
    • Artificial Intelligence, Trade Secrets, and the Challenge of Transparency, North Carolina Journal of Law and Technology (forthcoming 2024).
    • Generative Artificial Intelligence and the Practice of Law: Impact, Opportunities, and Risks, Minnesota Journal of Law, Science, and Technology (forthcoming 2024).
    • Reconceptualizing Conception: Making Room for Artificial Intelligence Inventions, 39 Santa Clara High Technology Law Journal 197 (2023). Full Text
    • The First Amendment and Online Access to Information About Abortion: The Constitutional and Technological Problems with Censorship, 20 Northwestern Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property 87 (2022). Full Text
    • Anonymous Expression and "Unmasking" in Civil and Criminal Proceedings  (with Leeza Arbatman), 23 Minnesota Journal of Law, Science, and Technology 77 (2022). Full Text
    • Algorithms, Housing Discrimination, and the New Disparate Impact Rule (with Virginia Foggo), 22 Columbia Science and Technology Law Review 1 (2021). Full Text
    • Algorithms and Fairness (with Virginia Foggo and Pratyush Garg), 17 Ohio State Technology Law Journal 123 (2020). Full Text
    • Artificial Intelligence, Due Process, and Criminal Sentencing (with Virginia Foggo), 2020 Michigan State Law Review 295 (2020). Full Text
    • Views Among College Students Regarding Freedom of Expression: An Analysis in Light of Key Supreme Court Decisions, 20 University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law Online 1 (2018). Full Text
    • A probabilistic framework for modelling false Title IX ‘convictions’ under the preponderance of the evidence standard, 15 Law, Probability and Risk 223-237 (2016). Full Text
    • Technology and the Role of Intent in Constitutionally Protected Expression, 39 Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 216 (2016). Full Text
    • Corporate Cybersecurity Realism: Managing Trade Secrets in a World Where Breaches Occur, 43 merican Intellectual Property Law Association Quarterly Journal 329 (2015). Full Text
    • Rethinking a Digital First Sale Doctrine in a Post-Kirtsaeng World: The Case for Caution, 2 Competition Policy International Antitrust Chronicle 1 (2013). Full Text
    • Observations from Above: Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Privacy, 36 Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 457 (2013). Full Text
    • Decrypting the Fifth Amendment: The Limits of Self-Incrimination in the Digital Era (with Vivek Mohan), 15 University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law Heightened Scrutiny 11 (2012). Full Text