Technology

Recent years have seen the dramatic growth of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL), a class of unregulated fintech products that permit consumers to finance purchases by dividing payments into several interest-free installments. BNPL presents novel regulatory challenges because it is primarily marketed to consumers as an interest-free alternative to credit, and its distinctive market structure is characterized by lender–merchant agreements that promote...

Online speech governance stands at an inflection po­int. The state of emergency that platforms invoked during the COVID-19 pandemic is subsiding, and lawmakers are poised to transform the regulatory landscape. What emerges from this moment will shape the most important channels for communication in the modern era and have profound consequences for individuals, societies, and democratic governance. Tracing the path to this point illuminates the...

State-sponsored cyberattacks are on the rise. With the continually growing presence of automated and autonomous technologies in our lives, the ability to harm individuals from behind a keyboard is becoming an increasingly plausible and desirable option for foreign states seeking to target persons abroad. Those particularly vulnerable to such attacks include political dissidents, activists, and any individuals...

Can genetic tests determine race? Americans are fascinated with DNA ancestry testing services like 23andMe and AncestryDNA. Indeed, in recent years, some people have changed their racial identity based upon DNA ancestry tests and have sought to use test results in lawsuits and for other strategic purposes. Courts may be similarly tempted to use genetic ancestry in determining race. In this Essay, we examine the ways in which DNA...

To determine whether there has been a violation of the Fourth Amendment, courts must first analyze whether there has been a “search” or “seizure.” Current doctrine offers two methods of identifying a “search”: the trespassory test and the Katz test. Scholars have criticized the Katz test, which asks whether an individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy, as being difficult to apply. In Carpenter v. United States, Justice Gorsuch...

Data scraping—the automated collection of data on the internet—is used in a variety of contexts. On the commercial side, scraping might be used as a means of competition—such as scraping by one company to retrieve information on prices for services provided by a competitor. On the noncommercial side, scraping could be used as a research tool—such as scraping by a news outlet to investigate Amazon’s...

Sex robots are here. Created specifically to allow individuals to simulate erotic and romantic experiences with a seemingly alive and present human being, sex robots will soon force lawmakers to address the rise of digisexuality and the human–robot relationship. The extent to which intimacy between a human and robot can be regulated depends on how we characterize sex with robots—as a masturbatory act, an in­timate relationship, or nonconsensual...

A handful of digital platforms mediate a growing share of online commerce and communications. By structuring access to markets, these firms function as gatekeepers for billions of dollars in economic activity. One feature dominant digital platforms share is that they have inte­grated across business lines such that they both operate a platform and market their own goods and services on it. This structure places domi­nant platforms in direct competition...