Unlocking the Black Box

About the Event

The increasing power of big data and algorithmic decision-making—in commercial, government, and even non-profit contexts—has raised concerns among academics, activists, journalists and legal experts. Three characteristics of algorithmic ordering have made the problem particularly difficult to address: the data used may be inaccurate or inappropriate, algorithmic modeling may be biased or limited, and the uses of algorithms are still opaque in many critical sectors.

No single academic field can address all the new problems created by algorithmic decision-making. Collaboration among experts in different fields is starting to yield important responses. Researchers are going beyond the analysis of extant data, and joining coalitions of watchdogs, archivists, open data activists, and public interest attorneys, to assure a more balanced set of “raw materials” for analysis, synthesis, and critique. As an ongoing, intergenerational project, social science must commit to assuring the representativeness and relevance of what is documented—lest the most powerful “pull the strings” in comfortable obscurity, while scholars’ agendas are dictated by the information that, by happenstance or design, is readily available. What would similar directions for legal scholars and journalists look like? This conference will aim to answer that question, setting forth algorithmic accountability as a paradigm of what Kenneth Gergen has called “future-forming” research.

Algorithmic accountability calls for the development of a legal-academic community, developed inter-disciplinarily among theorists and empiricists, practitioners and scholars, journalists and activists. This conference will explore early achievements among those working for algorithmic accountability, and will help chart the future development of an academic community devoted to accountability as a principle of research, investigation, and action.

Co-sponsored by the Oscar M. Ruebhausen Fund , GHJP, Law and Tech Society and YJOLT.



Twitter hashtag: #BlackBox

Friday, April 1

6:30-9:00 pm      Dinner for Panelists

Saturday, April 2

8:30-9:00 am      Breakfast – Law School Dining Hall

Registration - Room 122

9:00-9:15 am      Welcome: Why Unlocking the Black Box? – Dining Hall

Frank Pasquale, University of Maryland Carey School of Law

Caitlin Petre, Yale Law School Information Society Project

9:15-10:30 am    Concurrent Sessions

Journalism & News Production 


Matt Carlson, Saint Louis University – Automating Authority? Algorithmic Practices, Knowledge, and Journalistic Professionalism

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, Oxford University – Dealing with Digital Intermediaries

Brad Greenberg, U.S. Copyright Office – Algorithmic Media Bias

Commentator: Seth Lewis, University of Minnesota/University of Oregon

Health & Data


W. Nicholson Price II and Roger Ford, University of New Hampshire School of Law – Privacy and Accountability in Black-Box Medicine

Joseph Ross, Yale School of Medicine – Advancing Open Science through the YODA (Yale Open Data Access) Project

Thomas Marciniak – Analyzing Drug Trials: Lessons from the FDA Trenches

Deborah Zarin, National Institute of Health (NIH) – Status Report on the Clinical Trial Reporting System

Commentator: Amy Kapczynski, Yale Law School

10:30-10:45 am   Coffee – Room 122

10:45-12:00 pm   Concurrent Sessions

Politics & Power Room


Samuel Woolley, University of Washington and Philip N. Howard, University of Washington – Campaign Bots and Law (paper coauthored with Ryan Calo and Lisa Manheim, University of Washington)

David Karpf, George Washington University – Making Peace with Political Microtargeting

Margaret Hu, Washington and Lee University School of Law – Big Data Constitution

Commentator: Jack Balkin, Yale Law School

Uses & Practices Room


Bilyana Petkova, European University Institute – Reining in the Big Promise of Big Data: Transparency, Inequality, and New Regulatory Frontiers (Paper co-authored with Philipp Hacker, Humboldt University)

Joshua A. Kroll, Princeton University and CloudFlare, Inc. –  Accountable Algorithms (paper co-authored with Joanna Huey, Solon Barocas, Edward W. Felten, Joel R. Reidenberg, David G. Robinson, and Harlan Yu, Princeton University) 

Ahmed Ghappour, UC Hastings College of the Law – Machine Generated Culpability

Commentator: Tarleton Gillespie, Microsoft Research

12:00-1:30 pm    Lunch – Keynote address by Jonathan Zittrain, Harvard Law School

1:30-2:45 pm      Concurrent Sessions

Organizations, Finance & Innovation


Rory Van Loo, Yale Law School – The Corporation as Courthouse

Mikella Hurley, Georgetown University Law Center, and Julius Adebayo, MIT – Credit Scoring in the Era of Big Data  

Lauren Scholz, Yale Law School – Algorithmic Contracts

Commentator: Frank Pasquale, University of Maryland Carey School of Law

Transparency & Accountability


Mike Ananny, University of Southern California & Kate Crawford, Microsoft Research – Beyond the Black Box: The Failures of Algorithmic Transparency

David Levine, Princeton Center for Information Technology Policy – Confidentiality Creep and Dual Use Secrecy

Taylor Owen, The University of British Columbia – Kill Decisions: How Automated Violence Challenges Accountability in War

Kate Fink, Pace University – Algorithmic Transparency Under the Freedom of Information Act

Commentator: C.W. Anderson, CUNY – Staten Island

2:45-3:00 pm     Coffee – Room 122

3:00-4:15 pm     Concurrent Sessions

Research in Big Data


Andrew Tutt, U.S. Department of Justice – Proposal for a New Agency Regulating Algorithmic Safety

Balázs Bodó, University of Amsterdam – Putting the Canaries in the Data Mine: Some Suggestions for the Practical, Ethical and Legal Challenges of Researching the ‘Black Box’ (paper co-authored Natali Helberger and Judith Möller, University of Amsterdam)

Karen Levy, Data & Society Research Institute/ New York University – The Black Box as Prop: Surveillance, Performance, and the Destabilization of Authority

Commentator: Jonathan Manes, Associate Research Scholar in Law; Abrams Clinical Fellow, Information Society Project; and Clinical Lecturer in Law

Discrimination & Data


Divya Musinipally, Yale Law School – Regulating Predictive Policing Algorithms

Ifeoma Ajunwa, University of the District of Columbia School of Law and Sorelle Friedler, Haverford College – Predicting and Preventing Disparate Impact in Algorithmic Decisions (paper co-authored with Carlos Scheidegger, University of Arizona; and Suresh Venkatasubramanian, University of Utah) 

Michael Carl Tschantz, International Computer Science Institute – Discrimination in Online Personalization: A Multidisciplinary Inquiry (paper co-authored with Amit Datta, Anupam Datta, Carnegie Mellon; Cynthia Dwork, Microsoft Research; and Deirdre Mulligan University of California, Berkeley) 

Commentator: Solon Barocas, Princeton University 

4:15-4:30 pm      Coffee – Room 122

4:30-5:30 pm      Keynote Panel – Room 127


Ben Peters, University of Tulsa – In Defense of Black Boxes: Toward a Critical Revision of the Concept

Elena Esposito, University of Modena-Reggio Emilia – Who is Accountable When Algorithms Decide?

Commentator: Frank Pasquale, University of Maryland Carey Law

6:00-9:00 pm       Informal dinner for Panelists


Julius Adebayo (MIT)

Julius Adebayo is a graduate student in computer science and technology policy at MIT. His research involves applying techniques from machine learning to problems and questions in policy. For his masters thesis, he is currently developing an open source toolbox for analysts and non-machine learning experts to audit black-box predictive models. Julius has a bachelors degree in engineering, and has previously worked as a quantitative analyst at New England complex systems institute, a complex systems think tank.

Ifeoma Ajunwa (University of the District of Columbia)

Professor Ajunwa is an Assistant Professor of Law, hired to teach Contracts, Health Law, and Intellectual Property Law. Prior to joining the UDC faculty in Fall 2014, Professor Ajunwa was a Fellow at Columbia Law School and she was a Visiting Teaching Fellow at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. She completed her undergraduate education at UC Davis, where she was a McNair Scholar, and earned her law degree from the University of San Francisco, where she received the AAUW Selected Professions Fellowship and served as an editor with the Intellectual Property Law Bulletin and the Journal of Law and Social Challenges. She is a Ph.D. Candidate at Columbia University in the Sociology Department (concentration in Organizational Studies and Law and Society).

Mike Ananny (University of Southern California)

Mike Ananny is an Assistant Professor at USC Annenberg, where he researches the public significance of systems for networked journalism. Specifically, he studies how institutional, social, technological, and normative forces both shape and reflect the design of the online press and a public right to hear. He is also a Faculty Associate with Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University’s Department of Communication (advised by Theodore Glasser), a Masters from the MIT Media Laboratory (Gesture & Narrative Language and Tangible Media groups), and a Bachelors from the University of Toronto (double major in Computer Science and Human Biology).

C.W. Anderson (CUNY-State Island)

C. W. Anderson is an Associate Professor at the College of Staten Island (CUNY). He is the author of Rebuilding the News: Metropolitan Journalism in the Digital Age(Temple University Press) and the forthcoming Journalism: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press) (with Len Downie and Michael Schudson.) He has edited the forthcoming SAGE Handbook of Digital Journalism (with Tamara Witschge, David Domingo, and Alfred Hermida) and Remaking the News (with Pablo Boczkowski) (MIT Press). He is currently at work on a historical and ethnographic manuscript tentatively titled Journalistic Cultures of Truth: Data in the Digital Age (Oxford) which examines the relationship between material evidence, computational processes, and notions of “context” from 1910 until the present.

Jack Balkin (Yale University)

Jack M. Balkin is Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment at Yale Law School and the founder and director of Yale's Information Society Project, an interdisciplinary center that studies law and new information technologies. He is also the director of the Knight Law and Media Program and the Abrams Institute for Free Expression at Yale. Professor Balkin received his Ph.D in philosophy from Cambridge University, and his A.B. and J.D. degrees from Harvard University.

Solon Barocas (Princeton University)

Solon Barocas is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University. His research explores issues of fairness in machine learning, methods for bringing accountability to automated decisions, the privacy implications of inference, and the role that privacy plays in mitigating economic inequality. Solon completed his doctorate in the department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, where he remains an affiliate of the Information Law Institute. He also works with the Data & Society Research Institute and serves on the National Science Foundation-sponsored Council for Big Data, Ethics, and Society.

Valerie Belair-Gagnon (Yale University)

Valerie Belair-Gagnon is Executive Director and Research Scholar at the Yale Information Society Project. Her first monograph, Social Media at BBC News: The Re-Making of Crisis Reporting, was published by Routledge in 2015. Previously she was a postdoctoral fellow and Knight Law and Media Program Director at the ISP.She earned a BA in sociology from McGill University, an MSc in sociology from Université de Montréal, and a PhD in sociology from City University London. Her areas of interest include: media sociology, social media, news production, global media, and media institutions.

Balazs Bodo (University of Amsterdam)

Balázs Bodó, PhD (1975), is a socio-legal research scientist at the Institute for Information Law (IViR) at the University of Amsterdam. He is a two time Fulbright Scholar (Stanford University’s Center for Internet and Society in 2006/7, Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society in 2012). In 2013-15 he was a Marie Curie Fellow at the Institute for Information Law (IViR) at the University of Amsterdam. Balázs is an internationally renowned expert in cultural black markets, piracy, and the digital underground. He has given lectures at top US universities (U. Penn, American University, Harvard), and he is regularly invited to talk at leading European academic and industry events. He is a regular contributor to scholarly and popular discussions on copyright, enforcement, piracy and digital freedoms.

Matt Carlson (Saint Louis University)

Matt Carlson is Associate Professor of Communication at Saint Louis University where he teaches and researches in the area of media and journalism studies. His work examines public discourse about journalism, with an interest in the cultural construction of journalistic norms and practices. He is author of the forthcoming book Journalistic Authority (Columbia University Press), as well as On the Condition of Anonymity (University of Illinois Press), editor of two volumes, and author of numerous journal articles and book chapters.

Kate Crawford (Microsoft Research)

Kate Crawford is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research New York City, a Visiting Professor at MIT's Center for Civic Media, and a Senior Fellow at NYU's Information Law Institute. Her research addresses the social impacts of big data, and she's currently writing a new book on data and power with Yale University Press.

She is on the advisory boards of the Information Program at George Soros' Open Society Foundation, The New Museum's art and technology incubator NEW INC, and several academic journals including Big Data and Society. In 2013, she was a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio fellow, where she worked on issues to do with big data, ethics and communities. She is also a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Data for Development, and a co-director of the Council for Big Data, Ethics & Society. Apart from the academic stuff, Kate has also written for The Atlantic, The New York Times and The New Inquiry.

Elena Esposito (University of Modena-Reggio Emilia)

Elena Esposito teaches Sociology of Communication at the University of Modena-Reggio Emilia (I). She works with the theory of social systems especially on issues related with the social management of time, including memory and forgetting, fashion and transience, probability calculus, fiction and the use the time in finance. Her current research projects focus on the possibility and forms of forgetting on the web, on a sociology of algorithms and on the proliferation of rankings and ratings for the management of information.

She published many works on the theory of social systems, media theory, memory theory and sociology of financial markets.Among them The Future of Futures: The Time of Money in Financing and Society, 2011; Die Fiktion der wahrscheinlichen Realität, 2007; Die Verbindlichkeit des Vorübergehenden: Paradoxien der Mode, 2004; Soziales Vergessen: Formen und Medien des Gedächtnisses der Gesellschaft, 2002.

Kate Fink (Pace University)

Kate Fink is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Media, Communications, and Visual Arts at Pace University. In 2013-2014, Kate was a fellow at the Brown Institute for Media Innovation, based at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, where she also earned her Ph.D. in Communications. Kate has also worked as a journalist at NPR station WDUQ in Pittsburgh and CBS radio affiliate WINA in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Kate’s research interests include news reporting technologies, public records laws, media economics and journalism ethics. Her dissertation focused on how journalists used digital search tools to find and evaluate potential sources.

Roger Ford

Roger Ford is Assistant Professor of Law at the University of New Hampshire School of Law and Faculty Fellow at the Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property. He teaches and writes about intellectual property, information privacy, and other areas at the intersection of law and technology. His work studies how laws interact as complex systems, identifying structural flaws in those interactions and examining the effects of new technologies on them. Before coming to New Hampshire, he practiced IP and privacy law at Covington & Burling LLP, was a fellow at the University of Chicago and New York University, and served as a law clerk to Chief Judge Frank H. Easterbrook of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He received his law degree from Chicago and a bachelor of science in chemistry from MIT.

Sorelle Friedler (Haverford College)

Sorelle Friedler is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Haverford College and a 2015-2016 Fellow at the Data & Society Research Institute for her work on preventing discrimination in machine learning.  Her current research projects include ensuring fair decisions under the legal disparate impact standard, exploring mathematical definitions of fairness, and developing methods for auditing black-box models.  Before Haverford, Sorelle was a software engineer at Google, where she worked in the Google [x] lab and in search infrastructure. She holds a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Ahmed Ghappour (UC Hastings)

Professor Ahmed Ghappour joined UC Hastings College of the Law in 2014. He directs the Liberty, Security and Technology Clinic, where his casework addresses on constitutional issues that arise in espionage, counterterrorism, and computer hacking cases. Professor Ghappour’s research focuses on the interplay between emerging technologies, law enforcement and national security—particularly in the context of the modern surveillance state and cybersecurity.

Before coming to UC Hastings, Professor Ghappour was at the University of Texas Law School, where he taught the National Security Clinic, the Civil Rights Clinic and directed the National Security Defense Project, an access to justice initiative that monitored national security and cybersecurity prosecutions in the United States. Prior to that, Professor Ghappour worked with Lt. Cmd. Charles Swift (Hamdan v. Rumsfeld), taking numerous national security cases to trial, and was a Staff Attorney at Reprieve UK, where he represented Guantanamo detainees in their habeas corpus proceedings. He began his legal career as a patent litigator at Orrick Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP. Formerly, Ghappour was a computer engineer focused on design automation, diagnostics, distributed systems architecture and high performance computing.

Tarleton Gillespie (Microsoft Research)

Tarleton Gillespie is Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research New England and an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and the Department of Information Science at Cornell University. His  book, Wired Shut: Copyright and the Shape of Digital Culture, was published by MIT Press in 2007. He is the co-editor (with Pablo Boczkowski and Kirsten Foot) of Media Technologies: Essays on Communication, Materiality, and Society (MIT, 2014). He is also the co-founder of the blog Culture Digitally. His current work examines the sociological implications of social media platforms and algorithms; his next book (Yale University Press, forthcoming 2016) examines how the content guidelines imposed by social media platforms set the terms for what counts as 'appropriate,’ and ask how this private governance of cultural values has broader implications for freedom of expression and the character of public discourse.  

Brad Greenberg (Yale Law School ISP)

Brad Greenberg is a scholar of intellectual property and information law. He writes primarily about laws that encourage, restrict, or regulate speech and technological development, with an emphasis on legal questions raised by new technologies; it at times draws on his previous career as a newspaper reporter. His recent publications include Rethinking Technology Neutrality, 100 Minn. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2016); DOMA's Ghost and Copyright Reversionary Interests, 108 Nw. U. L. Rev. 391 (2014); and The Federal Media Shield Folly, 91 Wash. U. L. Rev. 437 (2013). He is involved with the ISP in his personal capacity, and his scholarship does not reflect the views of his employer, the U.S. Copyright Office, nor address matters before it. 

Philip N. Howard

Philip N. Howard is a professor and writer. He has written numerous empirical research articles, published in a number of disciplines, on the use of digital media for social control in both democracies and authoritarian regimes. He holds faculty appointments at the University of Washington and Oxford University, and is a fellow at Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism. From 2013-15 he worked at Central European University in Budapest, where he helped found a new School of Public Policy and was Director of the Center for Media, Data and Society. He is the recipient of an ERC Consolidator award for his study of algorithms and public life. He investigates the impact of digital media on political life around the world, and he is a frequent commentator on global media and political affairs. His projects on social media bots, digital activism, global information access, and political Islam have been supported by the European Research CouncilNational Science FoundationUS Institutes of Peace, and Intel’s People and Practices Group. He has published eight books and over 100 academic articles, book chapters, conference papers, and commentary essays. His research spans several disciplines, and he is among a small number of scholars who have won awards from all three major academic associations for his work in political science, sociology, and communication. He is the author, most recently, of Pax Technica: How the Internet of Things May Set Us Free or Lock Us Up. His BA is in political science from Innis College at the University of Toronto, his MSc is in economics from the London School of Economics, and his PhD is in sociology from Northwestern University. He has held senior academic posts at Stanford, Princeton, and Columbia Universities. His website is, and he tweets from @pnhoward.

Margaret Hu (Washington and Lee University)

Margaret Hu is an Assistant Professor of Law at Washington and Lee University School of Law.  Her research interests include the intersection of immigration policy, national security, cybersurveillance, and civil rights.  She has published several works on dataveillance and cybersurveillance, including, Biometric ID Cybersurveillance; Small Data Surveillance v. Big Data Cybersurveillance; Big Data Blacklisting; and Taxonomy of the Snowden Disclosures.  She is currently a member of the Advisory Board of the Future of Privacy Forum, a non-profit think tank in Washington, D.C., that promotes responsible data privacy policies; and a member of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Reform Project, a project of the ABA Standing Committee on National Security. Previously, she served as senior policy advisor for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and also served as special policy counsel in the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC), Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice, in Washington, D.C.  Professor Hu holds a B.A. from the University of Kansas and a J.D. from Duke Law School. She is a Truman Scholar and a Foreign Language Area Studies Scholar. She clerked for  Judge Rosemary Barkett on U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and subsequently joined the U.S. Department of Justice through the Attorney General’s Honors Program.

Mikella Hurley (DC)

Mikella Hurley is a Law Clerk to the Honorable Roy W. McLeese III at the D.C. Court of Appeals. Prior to her clerkship, Mikella served as a legal intern in the chambers of the Honorable James E. Boasberg at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Mikella obtained her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, where she graduated magna cum laude. She also holds a Masters in International Law from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. Prior to completing her legal training, Mikella worked in the field of international development, serving at UNICEF as well as at the GAVI Alliance in Geneva, Switzerland, where she managed programs aimed at ensuring the responsible use of funds by developing countries. She obtained her Bachelors from Macalester College.

Amy Kapczynski (Yale University)

Amy Kapczynski is a Professor of Law at Yale Law School and faculty director of the Global Health Justice Partnership. Her areas of research including information policy, intellectual property law, international law, and global health.

Dave Karpf (George Washington University)

David Karpf is an Assistant Professor in the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University. His work focuses on strategic communication practices of political associations in America, with a particular interest in Internet-related strategies.

Joshua Kroll (Princeton University and CloudFlare, Inc.)

Joshua A. Kroll is a Systems Engineer working on cryptography and Internet security at the web performance and security company CloudFlare. He is also an affiliate of the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University, where he studies the relationship between computer systems and human governance of those systems, with a special focus on accountability. His previous work spans cryptography, software security, formal methods, Bitcoin, and cybersecurity policy. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from Princeton University, where he received the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship in 2011.

David Levine (Elon University)

David S. Levine is an Associate Professor of Law at Elon University School of Law and an Affiliate Scholar at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School (CIS). He is a 2014-2015 Visiting Research Collaborator at Princeton University's Center for Information Technology Policy (CITP). He is also the founder and host of Hearsay Culture on KZSU-FM (Stanford University), an information policy, intellectual property law and technology talk show for which he has recorded over 200 interviews since May 2006. 

Karen Levy (Data & Society Institute/New York University)

Karen Levy is a postdoctoral fellow at New York University School of Law’s Information Law Institute, NYU’s Department of Media, Culture, and Communication, and the Data and Society Research Institute. She researches how law and technology interact to regulate behavior, with emphasis on legal, organizational, and social aspects of surveillance and monitoring. In fall 2016, she will be joining the faculty of the Department of Information Science at Cornell University, and will be associated faculty at Cornell Law School.

Seth Lewis (University of Minnesota/University of Oregon)

Seth C. Lewis is Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota, Visiting Fellow with the Information Society Project at Yale Law School, and, in Fall 2016, will be the inaugural Shirley Papé Chair in Electronic and Emerging Media in the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon. His research explores the digital transformation of journalism, with a focus on conceptualizing human–technology interactions and media innovation processes in connection with data, code, analytics, social media, and related phenomena. He is co-editor of Boundaries of Journalism: Professionalism, Practices, and Participation (Routledge, 2015), and editor of Journalism in an Era of Big Data: Cases, Concepts, and Critiques (Taylor & Francis, forthcoming). He is on the editorial boards of New Media & Society, Social Media + Society, and Digital Journalism, among other journals. He received his PhD from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.

Jonathan Manes (Yale Law School)

Jonathan Manes is a Research Scholar in Law; Abrams Clinical Fellow, Information Society Project; and Clinical Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School. Most recently, he served as a John J. Gibbons Fellow in Public Interest and Constitutional Law at Gibbons P.C. in Newark, New Jersey. He previously served as a legal fellow for the American Civil Liberties Union, National Security Project, and as a law clerk to the Honorable Morris J. Fish of the Supreme Court of Canada. He holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, where he was an Articles and Essays Editor for the Yale Law Journal. He also holds a B.A. in Biochemistry and Philosophy of Science from Columbia University and an M.Sc. in Philosophy of the Social Sciences from the London School of Economics.

Thomas Marciniak 

Dr. Marciniak was a Medical Team Leader and Clinical Reviewer for 13 years in the Cardiovascular and Renal Products Division of the FDA. At the FDA he performed more hands-on analyses of complete data from cardiovascular outcomes trials than any other reviewer. Overall he has forty years of experience in clinical research, epidemiology, and Federal regulation of medical products (at the FDA, NIH, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) and a bibliography of more than 50 professional publications. His educational background is a board-certified internist trained at Northwestern University and the Mayo Clinic. 

Divya Musinipally (Yale University)

Divya Musinipally is a J.D. Candidate in the Class of 2016. She is interested in civil liberties, privacy, and criminal justice issues. During her 1L summer she worked at the Electronic Frontier Foundation to challenge NSA mass data collection. At Yale, Divya works as a Student Director of the Media Freedom and Information Access clinic to litigate cases on law enforcement transparency. She is also an Articles Editor on the Yale Journal of Law and Technology, has litigated consumer protection cases in the San Francisco Affirmative Litigation Project clinic, and helps clients with housing and employment disputes in the New Haven Legal Assistance Criminal Reentry clinic. Prior to law school she worked as a paralegal at the Department of Justice Antitrust Division and as a Fellow at the American Constitution Society. She received her B.A. in Political Science and Rhetoric from UC Berkeley. 

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen (University of Oxford)

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen is Director of Research at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism and serves as editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Press/Politics. His work focuses on changes in the news media, on political communication, and the role of digital technologies in both. He has done extensive research on journalism, American politics, and various forms of activism, and a significant amount of comparative work in Western Europe and beyond. Recent books include The Changing Business of Journalism and its Implications for Democracy (2010, edited with David Levy),Ground Wars: Personalized Communication in Political Campaigns (2012), and Political Journalism in Transition: Western Europe in a Comparative Perspective (2014, edited with Raymond Kuhn).

Taylor Owen (University of British Columbia)

Taylor Owen is Assistant Professor of Digital Media and Global Affairs at the University of British Columbia, a Senior Fellow at the Columbia Journalism School and the founder and Editor of He was previously the Research Director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University where he designed and led a program studying the impact of digital technology on the practice of journalism, and has held research positions at Yale University, The London School of Economics and The International Peace Research Institute, Oslo where his work focuses on the intersection between information technology and international affairs. His Doctorate is from the University of Oxford where he was a Trudeau Scholar. He has held Banting Postdoctoral and Action Canada Fellowships and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Center for International Governance Innovation (CIGI). He is the author, most recently, of Disruptive Power: The Crisis of the State in the Digital Age (Oxford University Press, 2015) and the co-editor of The World Won’t Wait: Why Canada Needs to Rethink its Foreign Policies (University of Toronto Press, 2015, with Roland Paris) and of the forthcoming Journalism After Snowden (Columbia University Press, 2016, with Emily Bell). His work can be found at and @taylor_owen.

Frank Pasquale (University of Maryland)

Frank Pasquale’s research addresses the challenges posed to information law by rapidly changing technology, particularly in the health care, internet, and finance industries. He is a member of the NSF-funded Council for Big Data, Ethics, and Society, and an Affiliate Fellow of Yale Law School’s Information Society Project.  He frequently presents on the ethical, legal, and social implications of information technology for attorneys, physicians, and other health professionals. His book The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms that Control Money and Information (Harvard University Press, 2015) develops a social theory of reputation, search, and finance.

Ben Peters (University of Tulsa)

Ben Peters is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Tulsa and an affiliated fellow at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. During 2014-2015, he was a faculty associate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. He received his PhD in Communications from Columbia University, and has also served as a postdoctoral fellow at Hebrew University.

Bilyana Petkova (Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Law, European University Institute, Florence)

 Bilyana Petkova conducted her PhD project in International Relations at the University of Kent (Brussels campus) from 2009 until 2013, after which she did a MA degree in Studies of Law at the Yale Law School. While at Yale, she was a research assistant for the Global Constitutionalism Seminar and taught courses at the Yale Young Global Scholars summer program. In 2014-2015 she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Jean Monnet Center of New York University. At NYU she started to research data privacy as a case study of federalism in the United States and the European Union, focusing on the impact of regulatory experimentation and horizontal adaptation in the public and private sectors.

Her research at the European University Institute continues this project; the first results were presented at the 8th Annual Privacy Research Scholars Conference at Berkeley Law where her paper was in the top three that won a Young Scholars Award. In October 2015, she co-organized a conference on ‘Federalism and Fundamental Rights: Europe and the United States Compared’ at the Yale Law School, where she is currently affiliated as a Visiting Fellow of the Information Society Project. 

Caitlin Petre (Yale University)

Caitlin Petre is a postdoctoral associate and resident fellow at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. Her research examines the social dimensions of analytics, with a focus on the production, interpretation, and use of metrics in the news industry. Her research report on the role of metrics in digital media, The Traffic Factories, was published by Columbia University's Tow Center for Digital Journalism, where she served as a research fellow. Her writing has appeared in Newsweek, Newsday, the Albuquerque Journal, and on the blog of Eli Pariser's bestselling book The Filter Bubble, which she helped research. She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Sociology from New York University and B.A. in philosophy from Wesleyan University.

W. Nicholson Price II (University of New Hampshire)

W. Nicholson Price is an Assistant Professor at the University of New Hampshire School of Law, where he researches and teaches intellectual property, innovation policy, health law, and the life sciences. In his time as an academic fellow at the Petrie-Flom Center at Harvard University, Nicholson studied innovation in the pharmaceutical industry, personalized medicine, and the issues surrounding secondary findings in genomic research.  His work has been published in Science, the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology, Nature Biotechnology, the Boston College Law Review, and the Hastings Center Report, among others.

Joseph Solomon Ross (Yale University)

Joseph S. Ross, MD, MHS, is an Associate Professor of Medicine (General Medicine) and of Public Health (Health Policy and Management), a member of the Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation at the Yale-New Haven Hospital, and an Assistant Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Clinical Scholars program at Yale. He completed his undergraduate degrees in biological science: neuroscience and psychology at the University of Rochester and his medical degree at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY. After completing his post-graduate training in primary care internal medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, NY, Dr. Ross was a fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars program at Yale University, earning a Master’s degree in health sciences research. Using health services research methods, Dr. Ross’s research focuses on examining factors which affect the use or delivery of recommended ambulatory care services for older adults and other vulnerable populations, evaluating the impact of state and federal policies on the delivery of appropriate and higher quality care, and issues related to pharmaceutical and medical device evidence development, postmarket surveillance, and practice adoption/de-adoption. In addition, he collaborates with a multi-disciplinary team of investigators under contract for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to develop statistical models that are used to measure and publicly report hospital and ambulatory care clinical outcomes using administrative data. Dr. Ross is currently an Associate Editor at JAMA Internal Medicine.

Lauren Henry Scholz (Yale University)

Lauren Henry Scholz is a Postdoctoral Associate in Law and a Knight Law and Media Scholar, Information Society Project, at Yale Law School. She holds degrees from Yale College and from Harvard Law School, where she served as an editor of the Journal of Law and Technology, as a law clerk at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and as a teaching fellow for courses on copyright and online privacy. 

Michael Carl Tschantz (International Computer Science Institute)

Michael Carl Tschantz received an ScB from Brown University in 2005 and a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University in 2012, both in computer science. Before becoming a researcher at ICSI in 2014, he did two years of postdoctoral research at UC Berkeley. He uses the models of artificial intelligence and statistics to solve the problems of privacy and security. His interests also include experimental design, formal methods, and logics. His current research includes automating information flow experiments, circumventing censorship, and securing machine learning. His dissertation formalized and operationalized what it means to use information for a purpose.

Andrew Tutt (U.S. Department of Justice)

Andrew Tutt is an Attorney-Adviser at the Office of Legal Counsel at U.S. Department of Justice, and was until recently a Visiting Fellow at the Yale Information Society Project. His research and writing focuses on the implications of emerging technology for the future of free expression. Andrew received his J.D. from Yale Law School where he served on the Yale Law Journal. He transferred to Yale from Columbia Law School where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.

Rory Van Loo (Yale University)

Rory Van Loo is a Resident Fellow at ISP and a Ph.D. in Law candidate at Yale. His research draws on commercial law, financial regulation, bankruptcy, and dispute resolution, with a focus on how regulatory and corporate institutional design intersect with consumer decision making. 

Samuel Woolley (University of Washington)

Samuel Woolley is a PhD candidate in the Department of Communication at the University of Washington. He is broadly interested in communication practices in the spheres of politics and technology, especially when examined in empirically informed interpretive contexts. His sub-interests are in tech and society, automation/AI, state interference in digital networks, internet governance, policy and digital activism. Sam is the project manager for several projects focused on the intersection of automation and politics: the Political Bots Project at the University of Washington, the Computational Propaganda Research Project at the Oxford Internet Institute, and COSEED at Pacific Social.

Deborah Zarin (NIH)

Deborah A. Zarin, M.D. is the Director of In this capacity, she oversees the development and operation of an international registry and results reporting system for clinical trials, and the corresponding implementation of legal and other trial reporting policies. Dr. Zarin is also the Assistant Director for Clinical Research Projects at the National Library of Medicine Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications. Dr. Zarin graduated from Stanford University and received her doctorate in medicine from Harvard Medical School. She completed a clinical decision making fellowship, a pediatric internship, and is board certified in general psychiatry, as well as in child and adolescent psychiatry.

Jonathan Zittrain (Harvard University)

Jonathan Zittrain is the George Bemis Professor of International Law at Harvard Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Professor of Computer Science at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Vice Dean for Library and Information Resources at the Harvard Law School Library, and co-founder of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society.  His research interests include battles for control of digital property and content, cryptography, electronic privacy, the roles of intermediaries within Internet architecture, human computing, and the useful and unobtrusive deployment of technology in education.