Professor Hartzog Appointed to Facial Recognition Technology Commission


04.27.21 — Professor Woodrow Hartzog, an internationally recognized expert in the area of privacy, media and robotics law, has been appointed to a special legislative Commission on Government Use of Facial Recognition Technology.

Created by Massachusetts bill S.2963 and signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker on December 31, 2020, the commission is charged with conducting a study of facial recognition’s use in the commonwealth and making policy recommendations. The 22 person commission is comprised of representatives from the private sector, government, civil liberties organizations, law enforcement and academia.

“I’m honored to be asked to serve on this special commission. Facial recognition technologies are incredibly dangerous, particularly for people of color and other marginalized communities. I’m heartened that the Massachusetts legislature is seriously considering what the best legal framework for these tools should be and I look forward to working with them and the other members of the committee for the wellbeing of everyone in the commonwealth,” said Hartzog.

The Special Commission met publicly for the first time on April 16.
>> View the virtual meeting

For more information on the commission and their future meetings, please see

Professor Hartzog joined the faculty of the School of Law in 2017 and holds a joint appointment with the Khoury College of Computer Sciences, where he teaches privacy and data protection issues. His research focuses on the complex problems that arise when personal information is collected by powerful new technologies, stored and disclosed online.

Professor Hartzog’s work has been published in numerous scholarly publications such as the Yale Law JournalColumbia Law ReviewCalifornia Law Review and Michigan Law Review, and popular national publications such as The GuardianWIREDBBCCNNBloombergNew ScientistSlateThe Atlantic and The Nation. He has testified twice before Congress on data protection issues. His book, Privacy’s Blueprint: The Battle to Control the Design of New Technologies (Harvard University Press, 2018), has been called “one of the most important books about privacy in our times.”

About Northeastern University School of Law

The nation’s leader in experiential legal education since 1968, Northeastern University School of Law offers the longest-running, most extensive experience-based legal education program in the country and is a national leader in legal education reform. Founded with cooperative legal education as the cornerstone of its program, Northeastern guarantees its students unparalleled practical legal work experiences. All students participate in full-time legal placements, and can choose from the more than 1,500 employers worldwide participating in the school’s signature Cooperative Legal Education Program. The future of legal education since 1968, Northeastern University School of Law blends theory and practice, providing students with a unique set of skills and experience to successfully practice law.

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