Joris van Hoboken and Ronan Fahy awarded Privacy Papers for Policymakers Award

Joris van Hoboken and Ronan Fahy have been awarded the 12th Annual Privacy Papers for Policymakers (PPPM) Award by the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) for their paper “Smartphone Platforms as Privacy Regulators”, which was recently published in the international journal Computer Law & Security Review. The PPPM Award recognises leading privacy scholarship that is relevant to policymakers in the US Congress, at US federal agencies, and international data protection authorities, and is selected by a diverse team of academics, advocates, and industry privacy professionals from the FPF’s Advisory Board.

In their paper, Van Hoboken and Fahy examine the role of online platforms and their impact on data privacy in today’s digital economy. The paper first distinguishes the different roles that platforms can have in protecting privacy in online ecosystems, including governing access to data, design of relevant interfaces, and policing the behavior of the platform’s users. The authors then provide an argument as to what platforms’ role should be in legal frameworks. They advocate for a compromise between direct regulation of platforms and mere self-regulation, arguing that platforms should be required to make official disclosures about their privacy-related policies and practices for their respective ecosystems.

The paper was based on research conducted as part of the Transparency Bridges project, which examined how different regulatory environments for data privacy (EU and US) shape technical affordances and user behavior within smartphone ecosystems. Other papers from the project include “European Regulation of Smartphone Ecosystems,” published in European Data Protection Law Review; and “Mobile Privacy and Business-to-Platform Dependencies: An Analysis of SEC Disclosures,” published in the Journal of Business & Technology Law.

The winning authors will join FPF to present their work at a virtual event with policymakers from around the world, academics, and industry privacy professionals. The event will be held on February 10, 2022, from 1:00 – 3:00 PM EST. The event is free and open to the general public. To register for the event, please click here.