Chris Jay Hoofnagle will be joining the Berkeley School of Information as an adjunct professor in January 2016. Hoofnagle is a scholar of information privacy law, consumer protection law, and cybersecurity.
Hoofnagle is currently a lecturer in residence at the Berkeley School of Law, where he has worked for the last nine years. He is also a faculty director of the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology and formerly a senior fellow of the Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic. Before coming to Berkeley, Hoofnagle was senior counsel at the Electronic Privacy Information Center.
The diversity among the I School faculty is among the biggest draws for Hoofnagle. “Some of the most interesting questions are at the intersection of disciplines,” he says. “The most policy-relevant and practice-relevant work is coming from diverse groups of researchers.”
Hoofnagle’s own research lies at the intersection of technology, policy, law, and user experience. Although his background is in law, his research agenda has increasingly been shaped by consumer behavior and users’ understanding of information.
He has led several studies of how consumers actually understand privacy policies and their privacy choices, and his research on youth attitudes toward privacy contradicted the popular narrative that young people don’t care about privacy.
Hoofnagle’s book on the Federal Trade Commission, Federal Trade Commission Privacy Law and Policy, will be published by Cambridge University Press in February 2016. The book links the FTC’s modern role as privacy enforcer to the agency’s broader, century-long efforts in consumer protection and regulation of advertising. He has also written extensively on information privacy, the law of unfair and deceptive practices, consumer law, and identity theft.
Hoofnagle is no stranger to the School of Information. He is a frequent collaborator of I School professor Deirdre Mulligan and an affiliate of the School’s Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity. He has taught the I School’s Cyberlaw course and a recent seminar on the Federal Trade Commission, and has advised several I School student projects.
Hoofnagle is excited about the prospect of increasing interaction with I School students. He finds that even the School’s policy students are serious about technology. “I School students and alumni have already shaped both U.S. and European privacy approaches,” he explains. “I School students are exceptionally well positioned to be relevant in both the private sector and public sector as our society finds both policy and technological approaches to privacy tensions.”