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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

IT, Ethics, and Law Lecture Series

Can ethics and law keep up with new technologies?

The IT, Ethics, and Law Lecture Series is an ongoing series of panel discussions and lectures focused on the ethical, social, and legal implications of information technologies. Co-sponsored by the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and the High Tech Law Institute, the program looks at cutting-edge technologies and the challenges they raise.

Upcoming Events in the Series

May 2, 2024: AI-Powered Brain Implants: Novel Ethical Challenges

In this webinar, panelists will highlight key promises and concerns associated with developments in the field of neuroscience, addressing the ethical analysis required by the development and deployment of brain implants.


Julia Scott, assistant professor, and director of the Brain and Memory Care Lab, Santa Clara University School of Engineering

Erick Ramirez, associate professor, philosophy, College of Arts and Sciences

Matthew J. Gaudet, director of ethics programs, School of Engineering

Dorothée Caminiti, director, bioethics, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics



Brian Green, director of technology ethics, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics


Previous Events in the Series

May 16, 2023: Generative AI: Ethical, Legal, and Technical Questions

This panel discussion explored the legal and ethical issues arising from the use of generative AI tools by artists and intellectual property owners. Topics covered include training data collection, fair use, impact on creativity and creative labor, and balancing of various rights.


Dr. Maya Ackerman: Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, Santa Clara University and CEO of WaveAI.
Professor Kathy Aoki: Lee and Seymour Graff Professor/Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Santa Clara University
Professor Tyler Ochoa: Professor of Law, School of Law, Santa Clara University


Irina Raicu: Director, Internet Ethics, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

December 1, 2022 - Determining Users' Ages Online: Ethical, Legal, and Technical Considerations

In an effort to increase the safety of the Internet for children, regulators across the globe are requiring Internet services to determine their users’ ages. But will these efforts actually improve online safety for children, and, if so, at what cost? Three experts shared their diverse perspectives on the issues at stake.
Eric Goldman, Associate Dean of Research, Professor of Law, and Co-Director, High Tech Law Institute
Sara Krehbiel, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Santa Clara University

Irina Raicu, Director, Internet Ethics Programs, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Watch the video.

March 10, 2022 - Virtual Reality, Real Virtues, and Augmented Norms and Laws

Webinar about some of the novel ethical and legal issues associated with the widening adoption of VR and AR technology, and new norms and laws that might develop in response to the ecosystem that some call the “metaverse.”

Brittan Heller, attorney
Erick Ramirez, associate professor, philosophy, Santa Clara University

Irina Raicu, director, Internet Ethics Programs at the Ethics Center

Watch the video.

November 2, 2021 - The Ethics of Digital Currencies 

Seoyoung Kim, associate professor of finance and business analytics, Leavey School of Business
Scott Shipman JD ’99, Chief Legal Officer, Dapper Labs
Hersh Shefrin, Mario L. Belotti Professor of Finance, Leavey School of Business
Susan Kennedy, assistant professor of philosophy, College of Arts and Sciences

April 14, 2021 - AI/ML for Clinical Decision Making: Should Patients Be Informed?

Charles Binkley, MD, director of bioethics at the Ethics Center

Watch the Video.

Related Series: Artificial Intelligence for Social Impact and Equity Series


November 26, 2019 - Smart Governance for Smart Cities: Rights and Justice in the Age of Civic AI

Dr. Ann Cavoukian, privacy expert
Joe Simitian, Santa Clara County Supervisor
Jake Snow, ACLU attorney 

November 18, 2019 - Content Moderation Policy and Solutions

Del Harvey, VP for Trust and Safety, Twitter

November 11, 2019 - AI Ethics, Law, and Human Progress

Shannon Vallor, Professor, Santa Clara University

March 12, 2019 - Silicon Valley and the Challenge of Ethics: Prognosis for a Sick Patient

Kara Swisher, New York Times tech columnist
Listen to the podcast

September 24, 2018 - How to Do Good AI and Data Science (By Living Your Ethics)

DJ Patil, former chief data scientist of the United States and current head of technology at Devoted Health
Watch the video

May 14, 2018 - Habeas Data: Privacy vs. the Rise of Surveillance Tech

Cyrus Farivar, senior business editor, Ars Technica 

January 26, 2018 - Online Rumors, Conspiracy Theories, and Disinformation: Informatics and Civil Discourse

Kate Starbird, assistant professor, Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering at the University of Washington

October 24, 2017 - AI: Ethical Challenges and a Fast-Approaching Future

Maya Ackerman, assistant professor, SCU School of Engineering
Sanjiv Das, William and Janice Terry Professor of Finance and Business Analytics, Leavey School of Business
Brian Green, assistant director of Campus Ethics, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, and adjunct professor of ethics, SCU School of Engineering
Watch the Video

September 22, 2016 - Sentenced by Algorithm: Accountability and Algorithmic Decision Making

Julia Angwin, senior reporter at ProPublica
Listen to the Podcast

March 2, 2016 - Cyberwarfare Ethics: What You Need to Know

Professor Patrick Lin - Director of the Ethics and Emerging Sciences Group at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo


September 22, 2015 - Tech Innovation Policy at The White House: Law and Ethics

Associate Professor Colleen Chien - White House Senior Advisor, Intellectual Property and Innovation.

February 25, 2015 - Recording, Recalling, Retrieving, Remembering: Memory in the Information Age

Luciano Floridi, professor of philosophy and ethics of information, Oxford University, and member of Google’s advisory board on the right to be forgotten.
Watch the Video  

November 20, 2014 - Ethical Hacking

Abe Chen, director, Information and Product Security, Tesla Motors
Marisa Fagan, director of Crowd Ops, Bugcrowd
Manju Mude, chief security officer, Splunk
Seth Schoen, senior staff technologist, Electronic Frontier Foundation
Alex Wheeler, director, Accuvant R&D

October 29, 2013 - The Ethics of Online Price Discrimination

Eric Goldman, professor of law, SCU, and director, High Tech Law Institute
Kirthi Kalyanam, J.C. Penney Research Professor and director, Retail Management Institute, SCU
Ashkan Soltani, independent researcher and affiliate, Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University
Listen to the Podcast

January 23, 2013 - Privacy by Design: An Engineering Ethics Perspective

Ben Adida, director of identity, Mozilla
Brian Kennish, co-founder, Disconnect
Arvind Narayanan, assistant professor of computer science, Princeton
Irina Raicu, Internet ethics program manager, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics
Watch the Video


September 20, 2012 - A Conversation with the FTC Commissioner

Julie Brill, Federal Trade Commissioner

April 9, 2012 - Hacking, Ethics, and the Future of Internet Security

Joseph Menn, reporter, Reuters

March 8, 2012 - Social Networks, the Death of Privacy, and a Constitution for Facebook Nation

Lori Andrews, author of I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did: Social Networks and the Death of Privacy.

January 24, 2012 - A Conversation With Craig Newmark

Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist and craigconnects 

November 9, 2011 - Kiva: Eliminating Poverty Through Microfinance

Matt Flannery, cofounder and CEO, Kiva

April 19, 2011 - My Life as an Engineer: The Search for Integrity

Charles “Chuck” Geschke, co-founder, Adobe

January 24, 2011 - Play When Reality is Broken: Videogames and the Recovery of the Future

Jane McGonigal, author, "Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Happy and How They Can Change the World" (Penguin 2011) and director, game research and development, Institute for the Future

October 5, 2010 - Twitter: An Insider's View

Alexander Macgillivray, General Counsel, Twitter Inc. 

April 7, 2010 - What the Surprising Failure of Data Anonymization Means for Law and Policy

Paul Ohm, Associate Professor of Law University of Colorado Law School
Cynthia Dwork, Principal Researcher, Microsoft
Chad Raphael, Associate Professor of Communication, Santa Clara University

January 20, 2010 - Privacy Protections for Patient-Empowered Care

Deven McGraw, Director of the Health Privacy Project – Center for Democracy
Paul Tang, MD, Chief Medical Information Officer – Palo Alto Medical Foundation

October 19, 2009 - Minds for Sale: Ubiquitous Human Computing and the Future of the Internet

Jonathan Zittrain, professor, Harvard Law School; Co-Founder, Berkman Center for Internet and Society

January 28, 2009 - Protecting Personal Identities Online

Erika Rottenberg, Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, LinkedIn

October 28, 2008 - Information Technology Policy and the Next American President

Larry Magid, CBS News technology analyst
Geoffrey Bowker, executive director, SCU Center for Science, Technology, and Society
Kirk O. Hanson, executive director, the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

May 15, 2008 - The World that Wikipedia Made

Carl Hewitt, emeritus, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT
Pedro Hernández-Ramos, associate director, Center for Science, Technology, and Society

October 2, 2007 - Trust Online

Richard Clarke, national coordinator for security and counterterrorism, and special advisor to the president on cyber security
Dave Cullinane, chief information security officer, eBay Inc.

May 14, 2007 - The Present and Future of Social Networking

Marian Liu, multi-media entertainment critic, San Jose Mercury News
Jim Squires, vice president of products, Ning
Kaitlin Thompson, SCU sophomore
Shannon Vallor, assistant professor of philosophy, SCU
Read the Transcript

March 26, 2007 - Virtues and Vices of Open Source

Eben Moglen, chairman, Software Freedom Law Center, general counsel, Free Software Foundation

May 16, 2006 - Traces of Ourselves: The Ethics and Politics of Databases

Mitch Kapor, founder, Lotus Development Corp., president and chair, Open Source Applications Foundation
John Arquilla, professor of Defense Analysis, Naval Postgraduate School
Leigh Star, senior scholar, Center for Science, Technology, and Societ
Kirk O. Hanson, executive director, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, panel moderator

February 27, 2006 - The Ethics and Politics of Search Engines

Peter Norvig, director of research, Google
Terry Winograd, professor of computer science, Stanford University
Geoffrey Bowker, executive director, Center for Science, Technology, and Society
Kirk O. Hanson, executive director, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, moderator
Introduced by S. Leigh Star, senior scholar, Center for Science, Technology, and Society
Read the Transcript 

November 29, 2005 - Video Gaming: Playing With Ethics

Leland Yee, California state assemblyman, author of a measure to prevent the sale of violent games to minors
Mike Antonucci, tech writer, San Jose Mercury News
Kristin Asleson McDonnell, CEO, LimeLife
Caroline Ratajski, SCU senior, computer engineering major, video gamer
Chad Raphael, professor of communication, moderator
Introduced by S. Leigh Star, senior scholar, Center for Science, Technology, and Society