The Privacy Law Scholars Conference (PLSC) has always wrestled with the risks involved with corporate sponsorship. Two high level considerations influence our thinking about sponsorship. First, PLSC is designed to be multidisciplinary in more than one sense. It is an academic event first and foremost, but it is also designed to bring academic privacy scholars together with practitioners from a variety of backgrounds and to subject their work to rigorous interrogation from a corresponding variety of perspectives. We see corporate participation, along with participation by government and NGO attorneys, as a strength of PLSC that enriches both the dialogue and the ultimate output. Second, PLSC is designed as an entry point for junior and unfunded scholars. Those scholars attend at no cost, with their participation subsidized by others’ fees and by corporate sponsorship.
It is our policy only to accept sponsors that agree to exert no influence or input on the substance of the program. Corporate sponsors of PLSC receive a certain number of invitations for their employees to attend the conference, and they are named in the program and publicity materials as supporters, but they receive nothing else—no slots on the program, no program committee membership, no influence or input on paper selection, and no influence on paper awards. Our program committee makes all paper acceptance decisions (with the co-chairs), and all paper award decisions (without the votes of the co-chairs). Those wishing to present their work are required to disclose their sources of funding for the project and, if applicable, the larger work stream, and the program committee can and does reject submissions for apparent conflict of interest. For purposes of transparency, we always publish the names of our sponsors. We think that the diverse, high-quality, and often highly critical scholarship that has emerged from PLSC is the best evidence of PLSC’s independence.
Signed October 2018 by
Chris Jay Hoofnagle & Daniel J. Solove, co-chairs.
Members of the PLSC Program Committee
- Franziska Boehm, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
- Ryan Calo, University of Washington
- Danielle Citron, University of Maryland Carey School of Law
- Julie Cohen, Georgetown University Law Center
- Deven Desai, Georgia Institute of Technology
- Woodrow Hartzog, Northeastern University School of Law
- Kirsty Hughes, University of Cambridge
- William McGeveran, University of Minnesota Law School
- Paul Ohm, Georgetown University Law Center
- Paul Schwartz, Berkeley Law
- Priscilla Regan, George Mason University
- Neil Richards, Washington University Law