There has been no shortage of reports in recent years about harmful activity taking place in cyberspace and online platforms. These include dissemination of ‘fake news’, online hate speech, recruitment of terrorists, data theft, DDOS attacks, abuse of market power, setting exploitative conditions for consumers, and other harmful acts. Each of these harmful activities raises a unique set of policy problems, entailing distinct legal norms and legal institutions. At the same time, they raise common questions concerning liability and other forms of accountability, the interplay between law enforcement and technology, the role of insurance in mitigating risk, and the interplay between different laws and legal regimes.
The third annual Conference will look at the common and distinct responses of private law norms and institutions to harmful online activities. These include, inter alia, the role of contractual terms in allocating responsibility and risk, the role of tort law (including private competition law and privacy—related damage suits) in assigning liability across supply chains and between content providers, intermediary platforms and end users, the role of property and intellectual property law in assigning entitlements and protections, the role of insurance law in regulating online conduct and addressing harms, and the role of private international law in dealing with the cross-border features of many, if not most, online harmful activity. At a broader level, the conference seeks to explore whether, and to what extent, private law offers an adequate substantive and procedural legal framework for addressing new and emerging challenges posed by harmful activities online, and what, if any, reforms and new developments are warranted.
The Conference aims to bring together an international group of established and young scholars who are studying cyber law and policy, and are interested in the ramifications of new technology for human well-being, economic interests and social welfare. The conference will offer an opportunity to present cutting-edge research addressing these issues, to introduce new projects and thought-provoking initiatives, and to promote exchange among participants that will inform their ongoing research.
See also: Day I