“The Strange Return Of Gyges’ Ring”

"The Strange Return of Gyges' Ring" in Lessons From The Identity Trail: Anonymity, Privacy and Identity in a Networked Society (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009)

Book II of Plato’s Republic tells the story of a Lydian shepherd who stumbles upon the ancient Ring of Gyges that has the power to make him invisible. In the story, the shepherd uses the ring to gain secret access to the castle where he kills the king and overthrows the kingdom. Plato uses this story to pose the classic philosophical question: why be moral if one can act with impunity? 

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The Internet Of People? Reflections On The Future Regulation Of Human-Implantable Radio Frequency Identification

"The Internet Of People? Reflections on the Future Regulation of Human-Implantable Radio Frequency Identification" in Privacy, Identity, and Anonymity: Lessons from the Identity Trail, eds. Ian Kerr, Valerie Steeves and Carole Lucock (Oxford University Press, in press 2009)

In 2004, twenty-five global law students and I listened to the proprietor of the Baja Beach Club in Barcelona pitch the idea of getting implanted with an RFID tag to allow easy access to the VIP lounge of the club and to act as an easy payment system for booze at the bar. Would my students seriously consider getting chipped?

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The Magic Of Metamorphosis

During last fall’s Orientation Week, I was delighted to welcome the Class of 2014 to the Faculty of Law with a lecture about the way that law school changes people: The Magic of Metamorphosis.

Looks like I am going to do a similar lecture for the Class of 2015.

For those who are interested, here is last year’s lecture.

Digital Locks And The Automation Of Virtue

"Digital Locks and the Automation of Virtue" in Michael Geist ed, From "Radical Extremism" to "Balanced Copyright": Canadian Copyright and the Digital Agenda (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2010).

This chapter examines the social and moral cost of digital locks. I trace the concept and construct of a lock all the way back to the mythical Gordian knot, revealing two essential features of locks. First, I argue that locks are important not only for what they restrict, but for what they permit. I develop this idea in the context of digital locks using the concept of automated permissions. Second, I argue that the restrictions imposed by locks come with a social and moral cost; namely, that the adoption of a universal digital lock strategy could undermine the cultivation of moral virtue.

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