George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School

Exploring the Role of Data Enclosure in the Digital Political Economy

Dr. Brenden Kuerbis, a Research Scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Public Policy, and his coauthor Dr. Milton Mueller, Professor and Program Director, Masters of Science in Cybersecurity Policy at the George Institute of Technology, have published the paper “Exploring the Role of Data Enclosure in the Digital Political Economy”. The paper can be read here.

Webinar: 2023 Privacy Update: FTC, Congress, and the States


2023 is turning out to be an eventful year for privacy policy.  The FTC has proposed modifications to its Facebook order that would keep Facebook from monetizing data from minors, and has flexed its enforcement powers through a broad interpretation of its Health Breach Notification Rule—one that it now wants to codify.  At the same time, a federal judge dismissed the Commission’s case against Kochava for failure to sufficiently allege consumer harm, and the Supreme Court dealt it another blow to the FTC in Axon, which is likely to spur additional challenges to the constitutionality of the FTC and its (recently amended) administrative adjudication procedures.   All the while, Congress continues to consider various privacy bills, with the American Data Privacy and Protection Act (ADPPA) appearing to gain the most traction.  And states are jumping in to fill the void left by congressional inaction with their own privacy laws, as well as laws directed at social media platforms.

Adam Kovacevich, Founder, CEO, Chamber of Progress
Maneesha Mithal, Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
Andrew Stivers, Director, NERA Economic Consulting
Moderated by:
James C. Cooper, Professor of Law; Director, Program on Economics & Privacy, George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School

New Publication: COPPAcalypse? The Youtube Settlement’s Impact on Kids Content

New research from James Cooper, Garrett Johnson, Tesary Lin, and  Liang Zhong uses YouTube’s settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over allegations that it violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) as a natural experiment to evaluate the impact of eliminating personalization— including tailored ads and platform features like personalized search and content recommendations—on made-for-kids content.  The study of  5,066 top American YouTube channels from 2018-2020 finds that child-directed content creators produce 13% less content and pivot towards producing non-child-directed content. On the demand side, views of child-directed channels fall by 22%. Consistent with the platform’s degraded capacity to match viewers to content, the study finds that content creation and content views become more concentrated among top child-directed YouTube channels.  Read the full study here.