George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School

Webinar on Privacy, Antitrust, and Big Tech

Large tech platforms are in the crosshairs of antitrust enforcement. For example, both state and federal enforcers have announced investigations into Facebook and Google, and recently the FTC requested information from all of the major tech platforms on past acquisitions. What is more, the possibility that current antitrust laws may not be up to the task has led to several legislative proposals to reform relevant areas of the law.

Because most of these platforms collect information from consumers, it is not surprising to see data play an increasingly central role in antitrust analysis. The relationship between data and antitrust raises several important issues:

  • Does traditional antitrust analysis work in industries that use “big data”?
  • Do traditional antitrust tools work in zero-price markets?
  • Should privacy be a goal of antitrust?
  • To what extent do firms compete over privacy?
  • How does privacy regulation impact competition?

Join the Global Antitrust Institute (GAI) and the Program on Economics and Privacy (PEP) on Wednesday, July 22 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM for a discussion with leading experts on these topics and other topics related to the data/antitrust interface.

Featuring:

James C. Cooper, Director, Program on Economics & Privacy; Associate Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University; Former Deputy Director of Economic Analysis, Bureau of Consumer Protection, and Former Acting Director, Office of Policy Planning, FTC

Jamillia Ferris, Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Bruce Hoffman, Partner, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton; Former Director, Bureau of Competition, FTC

Michael Kades, Director for Markets and Competition Policy, Washington Center for Equitable Growth

Moderator: John M. Yun, Director of Economic Education, Global Antitrust Institute; Associate Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University.

Balancing Privacy and Public Health in the COVID-19 Era

Balancing Privacy and Public Health in the COVID-19 Era

The desire  to resume “normal life” has brought issues surrounding privacy into sharp relief. Most experts agree that some form of contact tracing will be necessary in order to safely reopen the economy in the absence of a vaccine.  Several countries have turned to some form of geolocation tracking from smart phones to identify interactions with potentially infected individuals. In the US, major tech companies have been working on bluetooth based solutions.  Widespread adoption of these tracking tools will be necessary to contain the spread of the coronavirus, but legitimate privacy concerns surrounding these solutions may discourage people from opting into such a system, causing doubts about their efficacy.

On Thursday, May 14 our panel of law and public health experts offered some guidance to policymakers working through these complex and pertinent issues.

Featuring:

Jane Bambauer, Professor of Law, The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law

Woodrow Hartzog, Professor of Law and Computer Science, Northeastern University School of Law

Daniel Barth-Jones, Assistant Professor of Clinical Epidemiology, Columbia Mailman School of Public Health

ModeratorJames Cooper, Professor of Law, George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School and Director, Program on Economics & Privacy

Click here to listen to the full recording of the event.

James Cooper Submits Joint Testimony

On April 27, 2020 James Cooper submitted joint testimony on the “State of Competition in the Digital Marketplace” before the US House of Representatives, Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law. Director Cooper submitted the testimony with John Yun and Joshua D. Wright.

“Conflation of antitrust and privacy policy should be avoided because the extent to which privacy serves as a dimension of competition is unclear and data collection can support higher quality products benefiting consumers.”

You can read Cooper’s testimony here.

 

 

Director Cooper speaks on Consumer Protection Panel

On Monday, September 30 2019 PEP Director James Cooper spoke on a panel during the Law & Economics Center’s Symposium on the Law & Economics of Consumer Protection. Cooper sat on Panel 2 “Consumer Protection at the Federal Trade Commission: The Economics of Privacy and Consumer Data Protection” of the Symposium. The panel included Roslyn Layton, Justin Brookman and Andrew Stivers and was moderated by Judge Maryellen Noreika.

Listen to the pilot episode of the Law & Economics Center’s podcast series, The Marketplace of Ideas, to hear the full recording of the panel.

How Big is Too Big? Big Tech, Antitrust, and Privacy

On Friday, December 6, 2019 Professor James Cooper moderated a joint program from Law & Economics Center’s Congressional Civil Justice Academy and Program on Economics & Privacy “How Big is Too Big? Big Tech, Antitrust, and Privacy” on Capitol Hill. The panel included  John YunCharlotte Slaiman, and Bruce Hoffman.

Listen to episode three of the Law & Economics Center’s podcast series, The Marketplace of Ideas, to hear the full recording of the event.

 

 

Legal Careers in Privacy Law

Legal Careers in Privacy Law

On April 15, George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School alumni discussed different paths for a legal career in privacy and data security. This live webinar was open to students only.

Featuring:

Julian FlamantAssociate, Hogan Lovells

Khoury DiPrimaAssociate, Kelley Drye

Brenda LeongSenior Counsel and Director of Artificial Intelligence and Ethics, Future of Privacy Forum

ModeratorJames Cooper, Professor of Law, George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School and Director, Program on Economics & Privacy

PEP Public Policy Briefing: Is EU Privacy Regulation Being Exported to the US?

On Tuesday, December 3 the Program on Economics and Privacy hosted a Public Policy briefing on “Is EU Privacy Regulation Being Exported to the US?”

The EU and the US have distinct approaches to protecting consumer data, but policies like the GDPR and “The Right to Be Forgotten” do not necessarily stop at the border.  Empirical evidence suggests that EU privacy regulation has reduced investment in EU tech firms.  If EU privacy regulations affect how US companies collect and use consumer data, is there a risk that they also could
 export any negative economic consequences to the US?  Join us for a discussion with leading experts to explore how EU privacy regulation impacts US firms, and what lessons US policymakers should draw from the EU experience.  

Moderator: James C. Cooper, Director, Program on Economics & Privacy and Associate Professor of Law, George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School

Panelists:
Lydia B. Parnes, Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and former Director, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission
Noah Phillips, Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission
James M. Sullivan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Services, US Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration
Liad Wagman, Associate Professor of Economics, Illinois Institute of Technology

See below for photos from the event, and click here to listen to the recording.



 

Director Cooper Speaks at TPI Panel on “Techlash: Is It Real and How to Respond”

On Monday, October 21, 2019 PEP Director James Cooper spoke at the Technical Policy Institute’s panel on “Techlash: Is It Real and How to Respond” at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Click here to watch the panel.

Cooper spoke alongside Bruce P. Mehlman, Randal C. Picker, Catherine Tucker, and moderator Thomas M. Lenard.

PEP Director James Cooper Speaks at FTC Workshop – “The Future of the COPPA Rule”

On Monday, October 7, 2019  PEP Director James Cooper spoke at a public workshop hosted by the Federal Trade Commission that discussed updating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule. You can watch the full afternoon session here. Tune in at 3:30:00 to hear Director Cooper speak on Panel 4: “Uses and Misuses of Persistent Identifiers.”

“I worry about undervaluing  information flows to kids. . . Kids shouldn’t deserve any less First Amendment protections than grownups. . . . Once we start thinking about using COPPA as a tool to restrict advertising to kids, then I do think we’re getting into First Amendment land.”

Read the full transcript here.

Cooper spoke alongside alongside Harry Jho, Katharina Kopp, Jonathan Mayer, Kate O’Loughlin and Julia Tama on the panel. The panel was moderated by Mark Eichorn, an Assistant Director in the Division of Privacy & Identity Protection, and Laura Hosken, an Economist in the Bureau of Economics at the FTC.

Call for Papers: 2019 – 2020 Privacy Fellowship

The Program on Economics & Privacy (PEP) at George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School invites applications for the 2019 – 2020 Privacy Fellowship. We seek authors to develop and present original work that focuses on the law and economics of issues surrounding the increasing regulatory scrutiny of online platforms. Issues of interest include, but are not limited to:

Continue reading “Call for Papers: 2019 – 2020 Privacy Fellowship”