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Prof. Anita Allen receives 2022 Berkeley Center for Law & Technology Privacy Award

February 24, 2022

The award recognizes Prof. Allen’s “immeasurable contributions to the field” of privacy law, said Dean Ruger.

The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School today announced that Anita Allen, Henry R. Silverman Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy, is the recipient of the 2022 Berkeley Center for Law & Technology (BCLT) Privacy Award. The award was presented at the 10th Annual BCLT Privacy Law Forum, which virtually convened more than 500 privacy law specialists bridging academia and practice.

“As a leader and world-renowned expert in privacy law, Anita Allen is well-deserving of this honor,” said Ted Ruger, Dean and Bernard G. Segal Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School. “She is a prolific scholar who has influenced and inspired many, and this award recognizes her immeasurable contributions to the field.”

BCLT Director Paul Schwartz said, “Professor Allen has been a long-standing leader in information privacy law. Her impact has been felt first through her scholarship, the broad reach of which has explored philosophy, civil rights, feminism, ethics, and many other topics. She has written about essential questions long before other scholars, including considering the limits of privacy law and privacy rights. Professor Allen has also helped advance privacy law by her service on the boards of The Future of Privacy Forum and the Electronic Privacy Information Center. All of us in this field are deeply grateful and indebted to her for her wisdom and leadership.”

The BCLT Privacy Award reflects a selection process and approval of the Center and its directors, who are prominent professors in many kinds of areas of law that touch on technological issues. Recent past recipients of the award include Upturn executives Harlan Yu, Executive Director; Aaron Rieke, Managing Director; and David Robinson, Managing Director and Co-founder (2020); Joel Reidenberg, Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair in Law at Fordham University (2019); and Ed Felten, Director of Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy (2018).

BCLT Faculty Director Chris Hoofnagle said, “Professor Allen’s scholarship has long been on the cutting edge, foreseeing shifts in the privacy zeitgeist. Her work Unpopular Privacy explores the complex reasons why restraints on freedoms might enhance liberties. This work presages the limits of pursuing an individual-focused, rights-based privacy approach and emphasizes the need to consider privacy as a group value that should be both a right and a duty. Her work on privacy and feminism demonstrates that much of the privacy afforded by institutions is the kind we do not want. She elucidates paths to distinguishing liberty-enhancing privacy from approaches that erode dignity. In addition to leading the intellectual charge, Professor Allen’s service to the discipline and to the government has brought these ideas into the practice and implementation of privacy law today.”

Allen is an internationally renowned expert on philosophical dimensions of privacy and data protection law, ethics, bioethics, legal philosophy, women’s rights, and diversity in higher education. She was Penn’s Vice Provost for Faculty from 2013-2020 and chaired the Provost’s Arts Advisory Council.

Allen is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, the American Law Institute, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has also served on the faculty of the School of Criticism and Theory at Cornell, for which she is an advisor.

A prolific scholar, Allen has published over 120 articles and chapters, and her books include Unpopular Privacy: What Must We Hide (Oxford, 2011); Privacy Law and Society (Thomson/West, 2017); The New Ethics: A Guided Tour of the 21st Century Moral Landscape (Miramax/Hyperion, 2004); Why Privacy Isn’t Everything: Feminist Reflections on Personal Accountability (Rowman and Littlefield, 2003); and Uneasy Access: Privacy of Women in a Free Society (1988). She has given lectures all over the world and appeared on television and radio and written for major media.

Allen currently serves on the Board of the National Constitution Center and has served on numerous other boards and professional advisory boards, including the Pennsylvania Board of Continuing Judicial Education, the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics, the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, the AALS Executive Committee, the Maternity Care Coalition, and the West Philadelphia Alliance for Children.

She was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in 2015 and chaired its Board (2019-2022). Allen is a member of the Pennsylvania and New York bars and formerly taught at Georgetown University Law Center and the University of Pittsburgh, after practicing briefly at Cravath, Swaine & Moore and teaching philosophy at Carnegie-Mellon University.

She is a graduate of Harvard Law and holds a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Michigan.

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