The Ever-Falling Cost of Surveillance

The Ever-Falling Cost of Surveillance

February 19, 2014 @ 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm
New America Foundation
1899 L Street Northwest #400
Washington, DC 20036
It used to be that if the government wanted to secretly track your movements, it would have to spend hundreds of dollars an hour on a team of agents to follow you. Now it can track a cellphone for just pennies a day. The cost of surveillance is sharply dropping, making previously unimaginable surveillance cheap and easy. How can privacy law keep up, and ensure that our rights are protected against tech-enabled spying that was impossible—or impossibly costly—just a few years ago?
That question is the subject of an article just published by the Yale Law Journal Online, “Tiny Constables and the Cost of Surveillance: Making Cents Out of United States v. Jones,” co-authored by independent privacy researcher Ashkan Soltani, who has recently shared the byline on some of the Washington Post‘s most explosive front page exposés on the NSA’s surveillance programs, and Kevin Bankston, the Policy Director of New America’s Open Technology Institute. Combining legal analysis of US v. Jones, the Supreme Court’s landmark case on GPS tracking and the Fourth Amendment, with analysis of the actual dollar costs of location tracking methods through the decades, the authors chart a new cost-based theory of privacy that might be applied to new technologies.

Come join the authors in discussion with a top tech reporter, a privacy law practitioner, a constitutional rights scholar, and a privacy technologist as they tease apart the law and technology of cheap surveillance, from cellphone tracking to the NSA’s bulk surveillance programs, and consider how we might protect ourselves practically and legally when more and more invasive surveillance is possible for less and less money.

Join the conversation online using #surveillancecosts and following @OTI.

If you are unable to join us in person, please tune in to our live webcast of the event. No signup is required to view the streaming video. 


Jennifer Valentino-DeVries
Reporter, Wall Street Journal 

Featured Speakers
Kevin Bankston
Policy Director, New America’s Open Technology Insititute

Ashkan Soltani 
Independent researcher & consultant specializing in consumer privacy & security

Orin S. Kerr
Fred C. Stevenson Research Professor, George Washington University Law School

Christopher Soghoian
Principal Technologist of the Privacy & Technology Project of the American Civil Liberties Union

Marc Zwillinger
Founder & Managing Partner, ZwillGen PLLC

Leave a Reply

Privacy Calendar

8:30 am Privacy as a Profit Center: Leve... @ Old Slip by Convene
Privacy as a Profit Center: Leve... @ Old Slip by Convene
Jan 26 @ 8:30 am – Jan 27 @ 4:15 pm
Learn how those on the leading edge of privacy governance and digital innovation from companies including Cigna, Cisco Systems, eBay Inc. Public Policy Lab, FocusMotion,Ghostery, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Google, HP Enterprise Security Products, JPMorgan[...]
all-day Data Privacy Day
Data Privacy Day
Jan 28 – Jan 29 all-day
“Data Privacy Day began in the United States and Canada in January 2008, as an extension of the Data Protection Day celebration in Europe. The Day commemorates the 1981 signing of Convention 108, the first[...]
all-day Global Privacy Summit 2015
Global Privacy Summit 2015
Mar 4 – Mar 6 all-day
For more information, click here.
6:00 pm CDT Annual Dinner “TechProm” 2015
CDT Annual Dinner “TechProm” 2015
Mar 10 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Featuring the most influential minds of the tech policy world, CDT’s annual dinner, TechProm, highlights the issues your organization will be facing in the future and provides the networking opportunities that can help you tackle[...]
all-day BCLT Privacy Law Forum
BCLT Privacy Law Forum
Mar 13 all-day
This program will feature leading academics and practitioners discussing the latest developments in privacy law. UC Berkeley Law faculty and conference panelists will discuss cutting-edge scholarship and explore ‘real world’ privacy law problems. Click here[...]
all-day PL&B’s Asia-Pacific Roundtable (...
PL&B’s Asia-Pacific Roundtable (...
May 27 all-day
PROFESSOR GRAHAM GREENLEAF, Asia-Pacific Editor, Privacy Laws & Business International Report, will lead a roundtable on the countries of most interest to business in the Asia-Pacific region. Click here for more information.
all-day PL&B’s 28th Annual International...
PL&B’s 28th Annual International...
Jul 6 – Jul 8 all-day
The Privacy Laws & Business 27th Annual International Conference featured more than 40 speakers and chairs from many countries over 3 intensive days. At the world’s longest running independent international privacy event participants gained professionally by[...]

View Calendar