Category: University of Washington School of Law

Washington Should Protect Renters Through Payment Method Laws


By: Jack Miller

Driven by reduced costs relative to accepting checks, delivering cash, and sending letters to ask for payment after payment is due, many landlords have switched to requiring electronic payment. Although online payment methods offer significant benefits and several companies have reduced the downsides to electronic payment, landlords may require tenants to pay rent through an online portal in Washington. The California legislature addressed this issue because restricting tenant payment methods can lead to significant inequities impacting marginalized groups. Washington should enact similar regulations to protect renters.

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How Ring & Rekognition Set the Stage for Consumer Generated Mass Surveillance


By: Jevan Hutson

If every home on a street, in a neighborhood, or in a town had a Ring surveillance system, the individual cameras, taken together, could construct an extremely intimate picture of daily public life. By integrating facial recognition and contracting with local and federal law enforcement agencies, Amazon supercharges the potential for its massive network of surveillant consumers to comprehensively track the movements of individuals over time, even when the individual has not broken any law. Fully realized, these technologies set the stage for consumer generated mass surveillance.

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Rentberry v. City of Seattle: Can Seattle Rein in The Free Market Without Violating the First Amendment?


By: Kyle Cianchetta

Is bidding on rental properties on the internet “commercial speech,” thus protected by the First Amendment, or conduct which may be regulated by the government. We will likely find out this year, as Judge Jones of the United States District Court, Western District of Washington, is set to rule on the matter.

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Algorithmic Injustice: The Increased Prevalence of Biased Code in Courts and Law Enforcement


By: Noelle Symanski

Algorithms and artificial intelligence, more specifically machine learning, are technologies that have seen increased use in many professional fields. We use this technology to make Google searches, swipe on online dating profiles, predict stock prices, and even control traffic lights. As algorithms become ubiquitous across fields, these programs have also made their way into the criminal justice system. Law enforcement agencies and courts have begun using technology to drive practices such as suspect identification and sentencing.

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Like, Comment, Vote: Social Media’s Influence on Political Participation


By: Treja Jones

With the average American spending 116 minutes per day scrolling through social media (which amounts to over 5 years of social media use over a lifetime), social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have expanded their purpose beyond entertainment and social connection to include uses such as news reporting, marketing, and even shopping. It comes as no surprise that Americans are also turning to social media to get political updates and to support and follow political platforms. This begs the question; what influence has social media had on political participation?

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