CS Colloquium - Peter Swire, Law and Ethics Program, Scheller College of Business, Georgia Institute of Technology

Event time: 
Thursday, February 26, 2015 - 4:00pm
Dunham Laboratory, Room 220 See map
10 Hillhouse Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511
Event description: 

CS Colloquium
Peter Swire, Law and Ethics Program
Scheller College of Business
Georgia Institute of Technology

Host:  Joan Feigenbaum

Title:  “Why Computer Scientists Should Play a Larger Role in Legal and Policy Debates”

Abstract: To date, advocacy for research funding has generally been the priority public policy issue for academic computer scientists.  This talk examines the role of computer scientists as IT issues become more central to an increasing range of policy and legal issues, including privacy, cyber-security, robotics, big data, the Internet of Things, and many others.  The talk arises from Professor Swire’s participation on President Obama’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technology, where no trained technologist was among the five members.  Going forward there at least three reasons for computer scientists to become more engaged in legal and policy issues: (1) more policy issues are and will be facing computer scientists beyond funding issues; (2) better policy and legal outcomes will result from computer scientist engagement; and (3) the nature of pervasive computing means that computer scientists will likely face more policy constraints on computing research.  The talk concludes with recommendations for how computer scientists can better participate in the policy and legal domains.

Bio: Peter Swire is the Huang Professor of Law and Ethics at the Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business.  At Georgia Tech, he has appointments by courtesy with the College of Computing and School of Public Policy.  Swire is Senior Counsel with the law firm of Alston & Bird, LLP.

Swire has been a leading privacy and cyberlaw scholar, government leader, and practitioner since the rise of the Internet in the 1990’s.  In 2013, he served as one of five members of President Obama’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technology.  Prior to that, he was co-chair of the global Do Not Track process for the World Wide Web Consortium.  He is a Senior Fellow with the Future of Privacy Forum, and a Policy Fellow with the Center for Democracy and Technology.

Under President Clinton, Swire was the Chief Counselor for Privacy, in the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.  He is the only person to date to have U.S. government-wide responsibility for privacy policy.  In that role, his activities included being White House coordinator for the HIPAA medical privacy rules, chairing a White House task force on how to update wiretap laws for the Internet age, and helping negotiate the U.S.-E.U. Safe Harbor agreement for trans-border data flows.  Under President Obama, he served as Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy.

Swire is author of five books and numerous scholarly papers. He has testified often before the Congress, and been quoted regularly in the press.

Swire has served on privacy and security advisory boards for companies including Google, IBM, Intel, and Microsoft.  

Swire graduated from Princeton University, summa cum laude, and the Yale Law School, where he was an editor of the Yale Law Journal.