Two Forthcoming Papers

I’ve put working versions of two forthcoming papers up onto Social Science Research Network (SSRN).

The first, with Tom Rodden, is going to be in a special edition of the International Review of Law, Computers and Technology on algorithms and law being edited by Joseph Savirimuthu. It is titled “New Directions in Information Technology Law: Learning from Human Computer Interaction” and can be found here. The abstract is as follows:

Effective regulation of emerging technologies, like the domestic internet of things (IoT) and the underpinning algorithms, requires a range of approaches. In this paper we focus on the use of technology design as a regulatory tool.

Within IT law, there has long been recognition that technology design can be used to shape and regulate individual behaviour (Lessig, 2006; Reidenberg, 1998). In this paper, we assert that regulation, as a concept, has broadened sufficiently that designers are now regulators. Accordingly, we need deeper understanding of their epistemological positions to better situate their role within technology regulation.

Accordingly, we look at a specific domain of design, human computer interaction (HCI), and three prominent concepts from this community. We present these concepts to reframe regulatory dimensions of domestic IoT showing what HCI designers can offer as regulators, and more broadly, highlighting channels for conceptual alignment of the HCI and IT law communities.

Understanding how technologies impact rights of users, and how designers can respond effectively, requires a turn to the context of use. The user centric focus of HCI can provide valuable perspectives on designing effective regulatory strategies. Furthermore, we argue current models of technology regulation in IT law do not give sufficient weight to the lived, contextual experiences of how users interact with technologies in situ.

To understand what an HCI led approach can offer IT law and technology regulation, we focus on three prominent concepts: trajectories (Benford et al, 2009), affordances (Norman, 2013) and provenance. We reframe these design concepts within the context of regulation.

The second is going to be a chapter for the book Future Law being edited by Lilian Edwards, Burkhard Schafer and Edina Harbinja. It is titled “White Noise from the White Goods? Conceptual & Empirical Perspectives on Ambient Domestic Computing”and can be found here. The abstract for this one is:

Within this chapter we consider the emergence of ambient domestic computing systems, both conceptually and empirically. We critically assess visions of post-desktop computing, paying particular attention to one contemporary trend: the internet of things (IoT). We examine the contested nature of this term, looking at the historical trajectory of similar technologies, and the regulatory issues they can pose, particularly in the home. We also look to the emerging regulatory solution of privacy by design, unpacking practical challenges it faces. The novelty of our contribution stems from a turn to practice through a set of empirical perspectives. We present findings that document the practical experiences and viewpoints of leading experts in technology law and design.”



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