Google Invites Cumberland Law Professor Hartzog to Address Employees

Posted: Mon, 10/08/2012 - 07:38

In the age of Twitter, Google and Facebook, privacy and intellectual property are becoming legal topics of great concern. Addressing these legal topics in his scholarly work, Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law Professor Woodrow Hartzog has become one of the nation’s leading experts on privacy and technology law. 

Professor Hartzog’s scholarship has not gone unnoticed by big players within international industry.  His work has led to an invitation from Google to address its employees at its headquarters in Mountain View, California.  On October 4, 2012, Professor Hartzog addressed Google’s employees in an hour-long presentation on privacy law.  This presentation was viewed by a live audience and streamed globally to all Google employees via the company’s intranet.

This presentation, titled “Obscurity as Privacy for Social Technology Users,” explored the concept of obscurity as a form of privacy. This talk proposed how policy and design solutions for social technologies can focus on obscurity rather than the more expansive and vague concept of privacy.  

A graduate of Samford University (B.A.), Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law (J.D.), The George Washington University Law School (LL.M.), and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Ph.D.), Professor Hartzog is in his second year of teaching law at Cumberland School of Law.

Professor Hartzog has not only made an immediate impact in the legal field with his research and forward thinking abilities, but also he has made an immediate impact on his students.

“Privacy is becoming one of the most important issues for technology users,” said Professor Hartzog. “New technologies are constantly challenging our notions of privacy and the law in this area is in a constant flux. Courts and lawmakers are still grappling with privacy issues relating to established technologies like wiretaps and the Web, to say nothing of the inevitable challenges that will be posed by developing technologies such as drones, facial recognition technology, and advanced algorithms for data mining. It is not clear what the legal response to these issues should be, which is why I think it is important to continue teaching and researching at the intersection of privacy, technology, and the law.”  

Whether it is an issue with iris scanners at airports, Facebook’s ongoing privacy issues, the suspension of a Twitter user who was critical of the media’s 2012 Summer Olympic coverage, a reaction to words from a 2012 Republican National Convention platform on privacy issues, a story for a tech blog or annual conferences for privacy law scholars or hackers, you can find Professor Hartzog quoted, providing his scholarly input on the issues at hand.

Professor Hartzog’s Recent Media Quotes

“Facebook Stops Asking Users To 'Snitch' On Friends With Fake Names,” Forbes,

“Company bets on airport of the future: passing security with an iris scan,” Ars Technica,

Hearsay Culture, a talk show on KZSU-FM, Stanford University, 90.1 FM;

“ACLU to FBI: Tell the public how you interpret GPS tracking ruling: Org wants to see the two memos the FBI created after Jones tracking decision,” Ars Technica,

 “Twitter Draws Scorn After Blocking Writer Critical of NBC,” Bloomberg,


Contact: Derrek G. Smith, director of law school communications,, 205-725-4093