Man at bottom, is not entirely guilty
since he did not begin history,
nor entirely innocent
since he continues it.
Chris Jay Hoofnagle
My research focuses upon the structure of legal and economic relationships that lead to tensions between firms and individuals, manifested through information privacy problems, gaps in understanding of legal protections, deficits in consumer law protections, and the problem of financial fraud.
My most recent work is in collaboration with University of Washington Professor Jan Whittington. It introduces transaction cost economics as a tool for rethinking information privacy and other consumer protection issues in online services. We are particularly focused upon the consumer protection implications of "free" services online. We have published two articles on the topic, Unpacking Privacy's Price and The Price of 'Free.'
In recent years, my research has focused upon attitudes towards privacy, online profiling and tracking, and finding new ways to curb identity theft. My work on the last topic was profiled by the Times in 2007. I'm especially proud of student work done here--with Ashkan Soltani and a group of undergraduate students, we demonstrated the use of Flash Cookies on popular web sites and their use as persistent trackers by advertising networks. This follows the KnowPrivacy Report, a successful attempt to enumerate the state of web tracking. I am now principal investigator (with Dean Shankar Sastry) on a NSF-funded effort to promote graduate education for students who have been educationally or economically disadvantaged, and an investigator on three other NSF projects focusing upon computer security, social factors in computer misuse, and privacy and security issues in future internet architectures.
Much of my work is done in collaboration with George Washington University Law School Professor Daniel J. Solove. We edit the SSRN Information Privacy Law eJournal; run the Privacy Law Scholars Conference, an academic paper workshop for privacy professors and practitioners; and the Privacy Law Salon.
I am a member of Palantir's Council on Privacy and Civil Liberties.
I am trained as a lawyer and am a double-dawg.
The spectacle presents itself as a vast inaccessible reality that can never be questioned. Its sole message is: “What appears is good; what is good appears.”
The Price of 'Free': Accounting for the Cost of the Internet's Most Popular Price, with Professor Jan Whittington, in 61 UCLA Law Review ___ (2014).
Privacy and Advertising Mail, with Jennifer M. Urban and Su Li.
Privacy and Modern Advertising: Most US Internet Users Want 'Do Not Track' to Stop Collection of Data about their Online Activities, with Jennifer M. Urban and Su Li.
Behavioral Adverstising: The Offer You Cannot Refuse, 6 Harvard Law & Policy Review 273 (2012).
Mobile Phones and Privacy, with Jennifer M. Urban and Su Li.
Mobile Payments: Consumer Benefits & New Privacy Concerns, with Jennifer M. Urban and Su Li.
Flash Cookies and Privacy II: our 2011 survey of Flash cookie use finds HTML5 being used to track users, and cache cookie respawning. It is also published as a practitioner piece in BNA as, Can Advertisers Learn that No Means No?
Comparative Study of Different Approaches to New Privacy Challenges, in particular, in the light of technological developments. USA Country Report, for the European Commission: this is an overview of US privacy law, a good place to start if you want to know more about how America addresses privacy.
Mobile Payments: protecting consumers and innovation.
Flash Cookies and Privacy I: we demonstrate widespread use of persistent trackers that can "respawn."
Young Adults and Privacy: young and old alike care about privacy.
Internalizing Identity Theft: risk preferences for fast credit make it impossible for consumers to avoid identity theft.
Beyond Google & Evil: "don't be evil" has become an albatross for Google.
More at SSRN
I shall tell you a great secret, my friend.
Do not wait for the last judgment.
It takes place every day.
In 2007, my brother Mark and I started a website which we used to define and explain a phenomenon we called "Denialism." This grew in reaction to what we were seeing on the political scene--a systematic use of public relations tactics to manipulate scientific and regulatory debates by unprincipled, dangerous political movements, such as the anti-vaccine and 9/11 Truther crowds. Also in 2007, I detailed the free market policy cliché of denialists in a paper titled The Denialists' Deck of Cards. In these efforts, we took our father's advice (channeling Pushkin): never argue with fools. We instead try to show the tactics of denialists without directly engaging them. Denialism is now described in the academic literature, and in 2009, Michael Specter wrote a book on Denialism.
In my free time, I enjoy reading, running, and all things tech.
Portrait by Ayrthon Sadikrama
I seek new perfumes, larger blossoms, pleasures still untasted
Northern California Wine Country
Some general advice: Go in the middle of the week!
Stay away from any place with bus parking.
Reservations are just a formality; you can call from the parking lot and they'll make space for you
My favorite places in Sonoma are Ridge, Hartford, Lynmar, De La Montanya, Arista, Gary Farrell, Unti, Rochioli, Rosenblum.
In Napa, Robert Sinskey, Silver Oak, Hartwell, August Briggs, Vincent Arroyo, Hendry, Summers, Milat, Benessere, Mayacamas
Quick Trip to Silverado Trail
The Viking's parents were in town, so we spent a day exploring the Silverado Trail. If you want to try the big California cabernets, this is the place to do. The day was a real mixed bag, with some real disappointments. Oh well. It's a good time to go to wine country, because no one else is there! And everything is discounted.
Our first stop was the Silverado Trail Wine Studio. I wanted to drink some Bighorn. The studio was also pouring Expression 44, a pinot noir from Oregon. We totally struck out--no one was happy with anything tasted. Bighorn recommended Pine Ridge, Mumm, Sterling, Joseph Phelps, Cade, and Steltzner.
Next up: Cliff Lede. This winery has been recommended by many on our various trips, and it's worth a visit. They have a Jim Dine sculpture with a water feature that creates an interesting heartbeat effect. They had many recommendations: Darioush, Signorello, Chimney Rock, Pine Ridge, Miner Family, and Baldacci. In the Spring Mountain area, they recommended: Sherwin Family, Barnett, Schwieger Family, Pride, Von Strasser, Round Pond, Sullivan, Brian Fleury, Failla, and August Briggs.
Paraduxx is a destination winery, much like Chandon, Mumm, and Lynmar. But you should go, because it is delightful. We had excellent blends in comfy, shady seats, with a view of many oak trees.
We ended the day at Silver Oak, a reliable, but unreasonably expensive place post-renovation. Napa generally is insane with tasting fees, but $20 for 2 nips? Pathetic.
Napa & Sonoma Extravaganza 2009
This year, Dan and I were joined by Marcia and the Viking! Day one: Napa
Hartwell: Our first stop and best of the trip. The 2006 Estate Merlot was my favorite, and the 2005 Estate Reserve Cabernet was excellent. Becky there recommended that we visit Alpha Omega (I am very skeptical of this recommendation, but many have made it now, and Becky's other recommendations were good), P. B. Hein, White Cottage Ranch, Titus, Volker, and Brown. Further, Becky recommended two useful services: Napa Bee Driven, a reasonably-priced driver service where they use your car instead of a limo, and Small Lots Big Wines, a service that will design a wine country trip for those who would like to visit boutique wineries.
Robert Sinskey was next. This is an enjoyable winery to visit because they pair the tasting with light, tasty snacks. I seem to recall RSV to be less expensive, but on this trip, prices seemed higher and we did not buy any wine. RSV recommended Paraduxx (owned by Duckhorn), Pine Ridge, Cliff Lede, and Rutherford Hill.
We took their advice on Rutherford Hill, in part because some in our party had never had "Rutherford dust," a quality of the tannins from cabernets grown in this region. It was not a very good recommendation.
We next went to Milat, which was closed, and then went on to August Briggs. This winery came recommended by many over the years, but we were unimpressed. They recommended Summers, Vincent Arroyo, and Envy. Knowing that Summers and Arroyo were good recommendations, we tried our luck with Envy, and it was a good bet. Envy is a collaboration of Nils Venge and Mark Carter; it was a wonderful end to our first day.
Day 2: Sonoma
We got a late start and began at Mazzocco, the best visit for the day. I'd recommend the Stuhlmuller Reserve Chardonnay and the 2006 Dry Creek Cabernet.
Ridge, being virtually next door, beckoned us. If you haven't been to Ridge Sonoma, go. The structure is straw bale, and it overlooks a valley of old growth, freestanding vines. They were tasting six different wines, including their Monte Bello. One in our party signed up for Monte Bello and ATP, a strong testament to this wonderful place.
We concluded the day with the much-recommended Hop Kiln. I found it yawny.
Napa & Sonoma Extravaganza 2008 #2!
Day 1: Napa
Dan, Marcia and I set out last week for our second wine country extravaganza for the year. This is becoming quite indulgent, and my liver isn't happy. But the quest for excellent California wines continues! Here it goes:
•We started with one of my favorites--Robert Sinskey. The best wine there was the Three Amigos Vineyard Pinot Noir. I bought some cabernet franc. The nice people at Sinskey recommended that we visit Elizabeth Spencer, Rutherford, and Miner Family.
•We next went to Darioush, which was recommended by many over the years. You shouldn't go there, unless you like Las Vegas. The tasting fee was $25, and non-refundable. So we left. The nice person working there gave us a free taste of their $80 cabernet; it was syrupy and not worth $80.
•Chimney Rock was our next stop. Solid, expensive, as usual. Their cabernet franc and 2004 cab were winners. They recommended that we visit Benessere and Regusci. These recommendations reflect good taste.
These three wineries above are Stags Leap/Rutherford area wineries that are expensive and consistently produce great wine. For this trip, we wanted to spend more time in Calistoga and St. Helena. So, we drove north and visited some awesome places. If you're deciding where to go for the day, I'd recommend the wineries below. They're not as busy, less expensive, and have wonderful wines. It's difficult to choose which was the best.
•From Summers, we went to Chateau Montelena, a famous winery that is known for winning the Judgement of Paris in 1976, helping put California wines on the map. For some reason (perhaps they hated us), they recommended that we visit Darioush. They also recommended Revana.
•Benessere was next, a favorite from previous trips. They recommended Bennett Lane, St. Clement, Sequoia Grove, Provenance, Turnbull, Ehlers, and Alpha Omega. Some of these recommendations are suspicious, but we'll see in a future trip.
That was about all we could take for the day. We made it to Bouchon for dinner. Bouchon was very fancy and we collectively felt like geeks among all the shiny people. Our dinner friend recommended Pride and Barnett.
Day 2: Sonoma
Because Marcia had not yet done a proper tour of Northern California's wine country, we were compelled by the moral imperative to take her to Castello di Amorosa, the $20+ million castle built by Daryl Sattui. This place must be visited, because it is in such bad taste that one is left just gawking at the attention to detail and dream baked into this 100+ room castle complete with ramparts, a moat, and drawbridge. I've started to like the place, despite my reservations and the general creepy feeling that this thing causes in me. The wine is good. We enjoyed the La Fantasia in particular, and our bartender made excellent recommendations: Rochioli, Gary Farrell, and Seghesio.
•Bad taste justified, let's move on to proper Sonoma! We went next to White Oak, which had excellent sauvignon blanc, syrah, and cab. They recommended Hartford, Gary Farrell, Frei Brothers, Iron Horse, and Lynmar. Almost all of these have been favorites from prior trips.
•We had an early lunch at Diavola in Geyserville. It was delicious.
•Meeker has been recommended by many different people during past trips. Overall, I thought their wine was way over the top and too sugary. But it's fun, and the pours were huge. They recommended Stryker, Mauritson, and Amarda.
Quick Trip to Sonoma
Went on a quick trip to Sonoma to visit some wineries highly recommended on previous trips. First stop was Marimar Estate, where I bought some Don Miguel Vineyard Pinot Noir. They wouldn't recommend any other places. Next was De La Montanya off the Westside Road. The nice people at DLM recommended Lambert Ridge, Everett Ridge, Passalacqua Vinyards, Ace-In-The-Hole Pub, and Rochioli.
Most interesting wine of the day? A 2004 Hillpoint Pinot Noir from Gee Vineyard in Carneros.
All over Sonoma, one finds animals made of junk now. This one stands at Marimar.
Napa and Sonoma Extravaganza 2008
Dan an I took a shorter extravaganza this year. Many of our choices were based upon wine ratings by the Corkdork and Vinography. We started by heading straight into Sonoma and visiting Cline Cellars, which was an excellent choice. Cline had a number of solid but inexpensive wines; we bought their 2005 Los Carneros Syrah, 2006 Cashmere, and the Ancient Vines Mourvedre. Next, we were off to a tasting room--Family Wine's Kenwood location--to try some Tandem, but upon arriving, we learned that they didn't have the license to pour that wine. Nevertheless, the 2005 Primitivo and 2003 Cab from Collier Falls were quite nice, and I bought a Betsy Backacher from Spann.
We drove all the way up to St. Helena to visit Benessere Vinyards, which was the highlight of our trip. Benessere was delicious; we bought their Black Glass Zinfandel and syrah.
We went next to Z-52, but couldn't find their tasting room, and found ourselves right next to Copia. Turns out that Copia has a daily wine tasting 101 class, offered at 10:15 AM. That's perfect for anyone new to wine country, and I'd recommend starting at that class and then driving up the Silverado Trail.
Our last stop for the day was yet another tasting room, because it was the only place that one could find D-Cubed. But at Vinters Collective, they wouldn't open the specific wine we were seeking. Nevertheless, we had a few good wines from Vinoce, Richard Perry, and JC Cellars.
I think that next year we'll change venues, and go to Santa Barbara instead. We're tiring of going north, despite the fact that we haven't visited all of Napa's 400 wineries (or the hundreds in Sonoma). Also, I just joined Ridge's Monte Bello, so going south is now an imperative.
Arista, Twomey, and Lynmar
We also went to Twomey, which is owned by Silver Oak and recently took over the space occupied by the very mediocre Roshambo. They’ve fancified the place. It’s still worth a visit. Ended the day at Lynmar (see photo above), which was totally beautiful, and the wines were lovely. Like Arista, Lynmar is a great place to bring a picnic.
Family Winemakers 2007
Dry Stack Cellars (get the rose)
Napa and Sonoma Extravaganza 2007 Pt. 2
Day Two: Sonoma
I’m a much bigger fan of Sonoma, because it’s less commercial, you’re less hurried, and many tastings are free. But we started the day in Calistoga, at the previously-mentioned castle. Castello di Amorsa is a must visit. Just a few miles north of St. Helena, the castle is unbelievable. It has over 100 rooms and is built four floors down. Inside, there are vaulted brick ceilings, al fresco paintings, etc. It’s so cheesy, but the spectacle should been seen. They recommended the worst places—some winery called “J” and the infamous, sucky Roshambo.
Back to Sonoma.
* We started with Hartford Family, where much wine was tasted and purchased. They made a number of excellent recommendations—Arista, Siduri, Dutton Goldfield, Pellegrini, Marimar, and De La Montanya.
* Lunch at Willow Wood Café on Grayton Road was delicious.
* Gary Ferrell was highly recommended on our last trip. The winery has a spectacular view, similar to Arista’s. A perfect picnic location. They recommended Arista, Hartford Family, Lynmar, Porter Creek, and Davis Bynum.
* Moshin was next. Huge pours of pinot noirs there. They recommended Arista, Porter Creek, Rochioli, and Meeker.
* Porter Creek was recommended by many on this trip. We had palate fatigue at this point and didn’t buy any wine, but it was a nice visit. They recommended Arista, De La Montanya, and Rochioli.
* We then went to the highly-recommended Rochioli, which was excellent. They recommended Hop Kill, Arista, and Twomey.
* BTW, Roshambo, which had a great property on the west side road but terrible wine, was bought by Silver Oak, which rebranded the place to Twomey. We didn’t visit, but I’m happy that Silver Oak moved in on that place.
* We retired for a swim at the Madrona Manor, a neat place on Westside Road about a mile from downtown Healdsburg. The Manor was reasonably priced, and had one of the best breakfast buffets I’ve ever had.
* Wednesday night, we visited Rosenblum; a trip there is basically required by the categorical imperative.
* We wrapped up the trip with a pleasant tasting at Williamson. They wouldn’t recommend any wineries, but did try to steer us away from our dinner at Manzanita (which was yummy).
Thus ends my description of another gluttonous trip to wine country.
Napa and Sonoma Extravaganza 2007 Pt. 1
Dan and I recently went on another trip to Napa and Sonoma. Below, there’s a summary of everywhere we went, but the clear winners were Big Horn Cellars, Robert Sinskey, Rochioli (6192 Westside Road), Hartford Family, and the Willow Wood Café.
Based on recommendations given by wineries, the next trip will include visits to Chateau Montelena, Vincent Arroyo, Arista (the best winery we visited on last year’s trip), and De La Montanya.
And the place I really want to go that doesn’t have a tasting room is CrauforD! Mistresses, open your winery up!
Day One: Napa
* We started at Big Horn Cellars, a winery I discovered after enjoying one of their cabs at a friend’s house. We bought their 2002 and 2003 Coomsville Cabernet, and their Syrah. Kevin at Big Horn recommended that we visit Ballentine, Milat, Arger Martucci, Brown Family Estate, Burnett, Rochioli, Sunshine Market in St. Helena, and Cuvee.
* Next, we drove up the Silverado Trail to Plumpjack. There, we bought Syrah and Cade Sauvignon Blanc. Plumpjack had an excellent chardonnay, but it was too expensive for our taste. Blake at Plumpjack recommended that we visit Charles Krug, Frank Family, Darioush, and Chateau Montelena.
* Laziness brought us to Napa Wine Company, which is right next to the Oakville Grocery on 29. The Napa Wine Company now pitches itself as a place to try cult wines. They recommended we visit Chateau Montelena, Vincent Arroyo, and Benessere.
* We had lunch at the Oakville Grocery, and then drove up to Provenance on 29. It was quite nice. They recommended Dutch Henry.
* Next was Heitz on 29. We bought port there. They claimed, falsely, that they had the only free tasting in Napa. They recommended we visit Kreger Family for more.
* We went to the Hollywood-backed Frank Family winery next. They recommended we visit August Briggs, Vincent Arroyo, and Reverie. They also mentioned that a local winery had built an enormous castle in 12th Century style just up the road near Calistoga. Now, this just sounded stupid, but we ended up going on day 2, and it was totally worth the visit.
* We met up with Bob at Pine Ridge, which was expensive but delicious.
* My favorite for the day was Robert Sinskey, on the Silverado Trail near Pine Ridge. Much wine was purchased and picked up. The food was excellent, the wine delicious and reasonably priced.
Napa and Sonoma Extravaganza 2006
Dan and I just returned from our two-day wine country trip. I did a lot of research in advance of the trip to identify off-the-beaten path wineries. Here’s a list of the wineries we visited, and the recommendations that staff at those wineries made to us.
Day 1: Napa
Most of these wineries can be found here.
Chimney Rock was excellent. It was good recommendation from a SF foodie. The staff there recommended that we visit: Chateau Montelena, Clos Pegase, Reverie, Diamond Mountain, Salvestrin, Sullivan, and Far Niente.
We proceeded to the old reliable Silver Oak. We were in and out too fast to get recommendations.
Caymus was next. We both bought Sauvignon Blanc there. Excellent stuff. They recommended visiting Paraduxx and Diamond Mountain.
We then drove up the hill to Mayacamas, which was my favorite Napa winery. The staff there was a bit aloof, and couldn’t readily give recommendations for other wineries. They did mention Chateau Potelle (perhaps because it was next door).
We concluded the day with a visit to Duckhorn and a group tasting room called "Dozen Vintners." Duckhorn was superb. They recommended we visit Casa Nuestra, Frank Family, Franciscan, and Provenance. The Dozen Vintners seemed to only represent six wineries, but it’s still worth a visit. We had wine from Fife, Howell Mountain, Adams Ridge (my favorite), Reverie, and Eagle & Rose. They recommended we visit St. Clement.
Day 2: Healdsburg
I like Sonoma County more than Napa. It’s less pretentious and less expensive. Most of these wineries can be found here.
Hanna (not to be confused with Hannah), a beautiful property on 128, had excellent Rose. My favorite wine was there–the 1999 "Bismark" Cabernet. It was a bit too expensive for me… Hanna recommended we visit White Oak, Alexander Valley, Fieldstone, Sausal, Striker, Talty, and Raymond Burr.
I got lost driving from Hanna to White Oak, which shouldn’t be possible, given that they are on the same road. So we soldiered on to Bella. Bella recommended we visit Papapietro Perry, Arista, Mauritson, Landmark Ridge, and Nalle.
Next was Unti, where Dan and I both bought grenache and syrah. Unti recommended Nalle, Bella, and Preston.
At the old standby, Ridge, much wine was tasted and purchased. I even signed up for their club. Ridge recommended we visit Preston, Gary Farrell, Hartford Family, Lynmar, Martinelli, Siduri, and Joseph Swan.
We went to Roshambo, which was a real disappointment. The winery pitches itself as a unpretentious place to enjoy wine and fun. But you know, just down the road is Arista. Arista is totally unpretentious. The staff were so nice to us. They poured all sorts of wine, invited us back for a picnic, and I played with the resident cat for like an hour. And the wine was the best of the trip. Arista is a gem. They recommended visiting Moshen, Gary Farrell, Siduri, Mary Edwards, Lynmar, Martinelli, Joseph Swan, and Iron Horse.
The past is a grotesque animal
And in its eyes you see
How completely wrong you can be
Digital Trust Foundation
In March 2010, Facebook settled the Lane et al. v. Facebook, Inc. et al. class action lawsuit, which concerned Facebook's "Beacon" program. As part of the settlement, the parties created a foundation (the "Digital Trust Foundation") to fund projects that "promote the cause of online privacy, safety and security." I am one of three proposed officers of this foundation, along with Facebook's former director for public policy, Tim Sparapani and reporter Larry Magid.
There were objections to the settlement, and an appeal was resolved by the 9th Circuit on September 20, 2012. It held that the District Court did not abuse its discretion in approving the settlement. Public Citizen sought but failed to obtain en banc review at the 9th Circuit.
I frequently get inquiries about when the DTF will start granting. Nothing will happen until the appeal window closes. Then DTF can meet to set guidelines and goals for the funding. If you are interested in funding, I suggest that you read the settlement agreement in the case. It specifies that the purpose of the DTF is to, "fund projects and initiatives that promote the cause of online privacy, safety, and security." The terms of the settlement explicitly prohibit the funding of litigation.
The spectacle’s social function is the concrete manufacture of alienation.
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choofnagle at law dot berkeley dot edu
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