Surveillance & Privacy

The Year in Review: Privacy

Shannon Togawa Mercer
Friday, December 29, 2017, 9:00 AM

As 2017 (finally) comes to an end, we’re looking back on an eventful year.

(Photo: Flickr/Scott Eytan)

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

As 2017 (finally) comes to an end, we’re looking back on an eventful year. This week, Lawfare has been rounding up coverage of some of our favorite national security topics of the past 12 months (FISA Section 702 Reauthorization, L’Affaire Russe, developments in the Middle East, and the progress of counterterrorism policy). In this last installment, we're covering a topic on which readers may want a refresh: 2017 has been a big year for privacy law.

On June 6, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Carpenter v. United States. As Jordan Brunner and Emma Khose summarize, Carpenter is a case concerning the law enforcement use of cell site records in the prosecution of two alleged robbers; the question at issue is whether the warrantless search and seizure of cell site records violates the Fourth Amendment. The court heard oral arguments on Nov. 29. Here’s Lafware’s coverage of Carpenter:

And let’s not forget the DreamHost search warrant controversy:

Separately, an early Executive Order coming out of the Trump Administration sparked some commentary:

Benjamin Wittes and Emma Kohse also published an empirical study measuring the extent to which consumers trade their privacy unknowingly or consciously in exchange for convenience and efficiency.

And while related to Lawfare’s coverage of Section 702 (recapitulated in more detail by my colleague Matthew Kahn) Timothy Edgar’s book “Beyond Snowden” garnered a lot of attention from our contributors as part and parcel of our mini-symposium:

We’ve also addressed issues of data privacy and surveillance stemming from (and impacting) the EU and the U.K.:

Last, for your perusal, a smattering of other thought-provoking commentary and summaries concerning privacy law and the Fourth Amendment developments in 2017:

Shannon Togawa Mercer is a senior associate at WilmerHale. Her practice focuses on complex global data protection, privacy, and cybersecurity matters. Ms. Togawa Mercer has extensive experience counseling clients on cross border data protection and privacy compliance as well as cyber incident response. She has practiced in London and Washington D.C. and previously served as Managing Editor and Senior Editor at Lawfare. Ms. Togawa Mercer also served as National Security and Law associate at the Hoover Institution.

Subscribe to Lawfare