September 15, 2011

IAPP Announces Recipients of the 2011 IAPP Privacy Law Scholars Awards


The International Association of Privacy Professionals Recognizes Outstanding Privacy Scholarship

DALLAS – September 15, 2011 — The International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) honored the recipients of the first-ever IAPP Privacy Law Scholars Award today at its annual Privacy Dinner in Dallas, Texas. The awards recognize outstanding scholarship around privacy. Winning papers were selected from among 40 submitted at the fourth annual Privacy Law Scholars Conference in June.

Woodrow Hartzog of the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University and Frederic Stutzman of the H. John Heinz III College at Carnegie Mellon University were selected for their paper, “The Case for Online Obscurity.” The article defines online obscurity and explains the importance of the concept to privacy. The authors suggest that the construct can and should provide a framework for legal protections and privacy standards.

Michelle Madejski, Maritza Johnson and Steven M. Bellovin of Columbia University won for their paper, “A Study of Privacy Setting Errors in Online Social Networks.” The paper presents findings from a study measuring the privacy attitudes and sharing intentions of social network users against their actual use of Facebook privacy settings. The study found there is a serious mismatch between users’ privacy expectations and their ability to manage their privacy settings. The paper goes on to recommend approaches for improving users' privacy settings based on the results, such as contextual privacy settings that are based on categories of information.

“The papers and issues discussed at the Privacy Law Scholars Conference represented many of the timely and thorny issues of the field,” said conference co-chair Daniel Solove of George Washington University Law School. “The IAPP’s recognition of this scholarly work supports our efforts to shine light on and educate around these important topics.”

The authors will present their research and recommendations at the IAPP Privacy Academy 2011 on Friday, September 16.

“The IAPP is pleased to sponsor an award that fosters discussion and debate of key privacy issues and advances the relationship between academia and business,” said IAPP President and CEO Trevor Hughes. “These thoughtful works will build upon thinking to create better privacy frameworks and protections.”

The Privacy Law Scholars Conference was held June 2–3, 2011, and brought together privacy scholars and practitioners to discuss current issues and enhance ties within the broader privacy community. Participants reviewed speakers’ initial papers in advance of the conference so discussions during workshops were in-depth and advanced the issues.

“The scholars conference helps enhance ties within the privacy law community and facilitate dialogue between academia, government, industry and public interest,” said Chris Jay Hoofnagle, director of the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology's information privacy program and conference co-chair. “Of the many interesting papers coming from the conference, this group of scholars represent the next generation of privacy leaders.”


About the IAPP

The International Association of Privacy Professionals is the world’s largest association of privacy professionals with more than 8,800 members across 70 countries. The IAPP helps to define, support and improve the privacy profession globally through networking, education and certification. More information about the IAPP is available at


For more information, press only:
Tammy Vigliotti
International Association of Privacy Professionals
+1 (603) 427. 9200