Trustworthy Digital Contact Tracing

Trustworthy Digital Contact Tracing

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Trustworthy Digital Contact Tracing

This Article takes a closer look at digital contact tracing in the United States during the coronavirus pandemic and why it failed. It begins by explaining the shortcomings of traditional analog methods and the resulting need for digital contact tracing. It then turns to the norms regarding consent, the scope of the data collected, and the limits on subsequent use necessary for cooperative surveillance. We argue that any successful digital contact-tracing program must incorporate these elements. Yet while necessary, those strategies alone may not be sufficient. People justifiably lack trust in public health authorities, in new technologies, and in the tech industry itself. Consequently, we conclude that public health authorities must do more than simply seek consent, minimize collection, and prohibit subsequent use. They must take proactive steps to establish public confidence in digital contact tracing.

Emily Berman, Associate Professor & Royce R. Till Professor, University of Houston Law Center

Leah R. Fowler, Research Assistant Professor and Research Director of the Health Law & Policy Institute, University of Houston Law Center

Jessica L. Roberts, Professor of Law, Leonard H. Childs Chair in Law, Professor of Law, and Director of the Health Law & Policy Institute, University of Houston Law Center

 

 

 

Imagining a Better Public Health (Law) Response to COVID-19

Imagining a Better Public Health (Law) Response to COVID-19

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Imagining a Better Public Health (Law) Response to COVID-19

 

This Article is not a thorough-going history of the pandemic response. By way of critique and suggesting a way forward for public health, we are going to imagine how public health—both the official agencies and the interconnected nodes in academia and health systems—might have approached COVID-19 differently. This is a story that focuses on good judgment as the lynchpin of optimal pandemic response and allows us to think about where good judgment seems to have been lacking, and how public health culture and institutions might change to improve the chances of better judgment next time.

 Evan Anderson, Senior Fellow, Center for Public Health Initiatives; Senior Fellow, Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research; Advanced Senior Lecturer, School of Nursing; Core Faculty,
Masters of Public Health Program, University of Pennsylvania

 Scott Burris, Professor of Law and Public Health, Temple University Beasley School of Law; Di-
rector, Center for Public Health Law Research

 

 

 

Applying Products Liability Law to Facebook’s Platform and Algorithms: Addiction, Radicalization, and Real-World Harm

Applying Products Liability Law to Facebook’s Platform and Algorithms: Addiction, Radicalization, and Real-World Harm

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Applying Products Liability Law to Facebook’s Platform and Algorithms: Addiction, Radicalization, and Real-World Harm

 

Facebook has become central to the lives of millions of Americans. As of 2021, 69% of U.S. adults use Facebook. Among those U.S. adults who use Facebook, roughly 70% visit Facebook at least once a day. Moreover, as of 2020, 36% of U.S. adults receive their news through Facebook. That means roughly 60 million U.S. adults receive their news through Facebook each day. Facebook’s impact on American society cannot be overstated when viewed through such a lens. Thus, it is important to ensure Facebook responsibly designs its products: its platform and its algorithms.

Grant Shea

J.D. Candidate 2022, University of Richmond School of Law

 

Copyright Takes to the Streets: Protecting Graffiti Under the Visual Artists Rights Act

Copyright Takes to the Streets: Protecting Graffiti Under the Visual Artists Rights Act

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Copyright Takes to the Streets: Protecting Graffiti Under the Visual Artists Rights Act

Artists who choose the streets as their canvas—whether to beautify neighborhoods, spark political protest, or merely mark their territory—are faced with uncertainties when it comes to questions of copyright protection for their work. Prior to Castillo v. G&M Realty L.P., the rights granted to street artists had generally been uncharted territory. However, a verdict that pitted the rights of street artists against the rights of property owners finally gave street art the credibility many felt it long deserved. In Castillo, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recognized graffiti as a work of visual art, thus providing it copyright protection under the Visual Artists Rights Act (“VARA”) of 1990. This decision reflected a broad change in the perception of unconventional art like graffiti, and it demonstrated the federal courts’ intent on catching up with that change.

Michaela S. Morrissey 

J.D. Candidate 2022, University of Richmond School of Law

 

Confronting the Local Land Checkerboard

Confronting the Local Land Checkerboard

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Confronting the Local Land Checkerboard

Fractured public land is hidden in plain sight. In communities across the country, a patchwork assortment of local governments share splintered ownership over surplus public properties, which can be found scattered in residential neighborhoods and alongside highways, in the shadows of development projects and in the scars of urban renewal. The ripple effect of this fragmentation extends across the spectrum of local governance. It creates needless costs and bureaucratic headaches at a time of acute fiscal distress for cities and counties. It contributes to an inequitable imbalance of local power between formal and informal landowners in a community. And curiously, the operative legal regime enables the problem while simultaneously muddying pragmatic ways to confront it. This Article seeks to shed light upon the local land checkerboard— and in doing so, the cluttered and opaque world of local government law that it inhabits

Daniel B. Rosenbaum

Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Detroit Mercy School of Law

 

Unservice: Reconceptualizing the Utility Duty to Serve in Light of Climate Change

Unservice: Reconceptualizing the Utility Duty to Serve in Light of Climate Change

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Unservice: Reconceptualizing the Utility Duty to Serve in Light of Climate Change

Many facets of utility monopoly regulation are approaching a minimum of eight decades as part of our legal landscape. A bedrock principle of state utility regulation is the duty to serve, which demands that utilities provide nondiscriminatory service to all those within their geographic territory for the specific service for which they have been granted a monopoly. Within its exclusive territory, a utility is required “to serve all present and reasonably to be anticipated future users.” Each state has adopted some form of this for its regulated monopolies, although formulations differ. This Article argues that in light of climate change impacts, the duty to serve must change.

Heather Payne

Associate Professor of Law, Seton Hall University School of Law

 

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