Category: University of Washington School of Law

Can Tech Solve America’s Forest Management Crisis?


By: Jake Plovanic 

After another wildfire season raged through California and the western United States, the debate over how best to minimize and manage future blazes has intensified. The total destruction of the city of Paradise and the loss of scores of lives in the Camp Fire mark a sobering new reality for the agencies tasked with fighting, predicting, and preventing these fires. Climate change is making fire season longer, hotter, and more dangerous in the western states. Cities and suburbs continue to encroach into fire-prone wildland. Both issues require redefining the approach to managing the fires and the forests that fuel them.

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Cellular Privacy: Supreme Court Rules to Protect Historical Cellphone Location Data


By: Ariana Morello

On June 22, 2018 in Carpenter v. United States the United States Supreme Court held that police must have a warrant and show probable cause when retaining cell-site location information (CSLI), which is the information nearby towers gather from cell phones.  In a close 5-4 decision, the Court found that a cell phone user has a legitimate expectation of privacy and CSLI data obtained from a cell phone carrier company qualified as a “search” under the Fourth Amendment.

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How Open Market Competition is Addressing Privacy Concerns: A Look at the Direct-to-Consumer Gene Sequencing Market


By: Samy Danesh

Most people know someone who received a genetic testing kit for the holidays. In exchange for a vile of saliva, and sometimes a fee, companies sequence genomes and provide consumers with ancestral and genetic disease related information. But who owns the data, and how does that affect consumer privacy?

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Pay More, Watch Less: The Evolution of Streaming Platforms


By: Ben Cashdollar

Today’s online streaming services are a marvel of technological and legal innovation. Much like how Google became an irreplaceable verb in society’s lexicon in the early 2000s, Netflix has achieved the status of a household term. But while the Netflix of today is viewed as a repository of streaming content from a variety of studios and distributors, the Netflix of the future will look dramatically different.  The very legal foundation upon which Netflix was built to serve will drastically alter the amount and variety of content that it can provide customers in the coming future. Understanding why this change is coming requires some knowledge of copyright law.

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Data Bunglers: How One State is Leading the Charge in Reining in Data Brokers


By: Matthew Jurgensmeier

As the modern era of automated systems and the ubiquity of the internet grows, increasingly more consumer data is collected and stored online. Collected by companies with whom customers interact and scraped from across the internet, this data provides a roadmap for who customers are, what they’ve done online, and what they are likely to do in the future. Some companies use this data to advertise to consumers, while other companies sell it. The companies that scrape and sell data are called data brokers, and the information that they collect is for sale to anyone who is willing to pay. Examples of data brokers include Datalogix, Intelius, and DSA Direct. [For more WJLTA coverage on data brokers, see here.]

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