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David Levine delivers talk on 'confidentiality creep' at Yale

The Elon Law associate professor shared insights at the Information Society Project's 2016 spring conference "Unlocking the Black Box: The Promise and Limits of Algorithmic Accountability in the Professions."

Associate Professor David Levine

‚ÄčAssociate Professor David Levine gave a talk in early April to attendees at Yale Law School's Information Society Project's 2016 spring conference "Unlocking the Black Box: The Promise and Limits of Algorithmic Accountability in the Professions."

His April 2 presentation, "Confidentiality Creep and Dual-Use Secrecy: The Professions in an Age of Information Capture," shared how emerging technologies are moving beyond the ambit of monitoring, regulation and law, "creating a space in which the information needed to understand technological activity is held only by those with a vested interest in the technology’s rapid dominance."

Levine assessed the parameters and challenges of untethered, unsupported and unanalyzed claims of information of such creep in the development and civilian deployment of drones, aerial robotics, driverless cars and other code-based technologies. He framed “confidentiality creep” around a lack of appreciation of secrecy’s private and public uses.

Understanding when information should be shared with the public and when it is better left in more limited hands, he said, requires careful consideration of the tensions inherent in secrecy’s dual uses.

The Yale conference was among several professional activities this spring for Levine. He was recently reappointed as a fellow at Princeton's Center for Information Technology. And Levine delivered two talks in March at Marquette University Law School during the Second Annual Mosaic Conference: "Diverse Voices in IP Scholarship."

The Mosaic conference presentations explored the concept of intellectual property scholars as policy advocates, and the question of why startups use trade secrecy, based on a draft paper co-authored with Ted Sichelman of the University of San Diego School of Law.

In addition to his position at Elon Law, Levine is an affiliate scholar at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School. He is also the founder and host of Hearsay Culture on KZSU-FM at Stanford University, an information policy, intellectual property law and technology talk show for which he has recorded nearly 250 interviews since May 2006.

His scholarship, which has been published in several law reviews including Florida, North Carolina and Stanford Online, focuses on the operation of intellectual property law at the intersection of technology and public life, specifically information flows in the lawmaking and regulatory process and intellectual property law's impact on public and private secrecy, transparency and accountability.

He has spoken about his work in numerous venues, from the American Political Science Association annual meeting to the Information Society Project at Yale Law School, and internationally.

Eric Townsend,
4/6/2016 11:10 PM