This paper offers a sketch of the complicated conflicts which arise—and metastasize seemingly daily—in the era of Big Data. Given the public’s ubiquitous-yet-ostensibly-voluntary data surrender, and industry’s ubiquitous-yet-ostensibly-anodyne collection of the same, inaction is not an option for any near-just society. By revisiting the philosophical basis for Panoptic apparatus, sketching the tumultuous history of US contract law trying to protect the public from itself, and comparing existing industry codes for similarly-situated—read: terrifyingly invasive—fields, the paper will provide a preliminary framework for (...) identifying and confronting the galaxy of problems associated with data analytics. (shrink)
Essay exploring the extent to which certain agreements between the police and informants are an affront (both procedurally and substantively) to basic tenets of the liberal tradition in legal and political philosophy.
Although moral hazard is a well-known economic concept, there is a long-standing controversy over its moral implications. The language economists use to describe moral hazard is often value-laden, and implies moral judgments about the persons or actions of economic agents. This in turn leads some to question whether it is actually a scientific concept, or simply a convenient tool for criticizing certain public policies. At present, there is no consensus about the moral meaning of moral hazard, or about whether the (...) concept can be salvaged by economists. As a first step toward resolving this problem, I suggest a contracts approach to moral hazard. I use the ‘title-transfer’ theory of contract to clarify the moral content of moral hazard, thereby increasing its value to scholars in numerous disciplines. A contracts view is useful for economic policy discussions because it does not include hidden value judgments. At the same time, however, it is also valuable for ethicists because it directly explains a moral dimension of behavior under moral hazard, namely, the violation of property rights. (shrink)