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Anita Allen receives Lifetime Achievement Award from privacy advocacy group EPIC

May 29, 2014

Anita Allen, the Vice Provost for Faculty at Penn and the Law School’s Henry R. Silverman Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy, will receive the Electronic Privacy Information Center’s (EPIC) Lifetime Achievement Award at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. June 2.

Allen, described by EPIC as “the nation’s leading privacy scholar,” has written and lectured widely on privacy law and ethics; her books on the subject include Unpopular Privacy:  What Must We Hide (Oxford, 2011); Privacy Law and Society (West 2011); and Why Privacy Isn’t Everything: Feminist Reflections on Personal Accountability (2003). Her book Uneasy Access: Privacy for Women in a Free Society (1988) was the first by an American philosopher devoted to how we define and value privacy. Allen is also the author The New Ethics: A Guide to the 21st Century Moral Landscape (2004).

EPIC is an independent non-profit research center based in Washington, D.C. focusing on privacy, freedom of expression, democratic values, and pursues a wide range of program activities including public education, litigation, and advocacy concerning the future of the Internet, according to the group’s website. The organization regularly files amicus briefs in federal courts, champions open government and consumer privacy, and lobbies Congress about privacy and civil liberties issues.  

Since 2010, Allen has served as a Commissioner on President Barack Obama’s Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. She holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Michigan and a law degree from Harvard, and has published more than 100 scholarly articles and essays on topics that include health privacy, women privacy, children’s privacy, LGBT-related privacy rights, and electronic data protection. Allen has lectured on privacy throughout North America and Europe, and Taiwan, Japan and Israel. 

Allen has served on the boards of local and national non-profits including the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, the Maternity Care Coalition, the Hastings Center, the West Philadelphia Alliance for Children, and Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington. A former board member of EPIC, she has played a leading role in the modern understanding of the right to privacy.