Smoke If You Got ‘Em

I’m here in rainy, lovely Eugene, Oregon watching the Oregon Law Review symposium, A Step Forward: Creating a Just Drug Policy for the United States. (You can watch it live.) Jane is presenting her paper Defending the Dog – here’s the conclusion: The narcotics dog doesn’t deserve the bad reputation it has received among scholars. The […]

Startups and Healthcare

My friend and former Lotus manager Joe Perry has ventured into the blogosphere, with a post about startup companies, healthcare, and the Boston area – all three things of interest to me. I’m looking forward to finding out more about using mobile tech to combat counterfeit drugs…

Parsing the Commerce Clause

NFIB v. Sebelius, the 2012 Supreme Court decision rejecting nearly all of the constitutional challenges to the Affordable Care Act, has (at least) two bits of interest to infolaw folks. First, the majority opinion finds that the ACA‘s individual mandate cannot be sustained under the Commerce Clause. Congress regulates all manner of infolaw issues under […]

Death by HIPAA

Vioxx, the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug once prescribed for arthritis, was on the market for over five years before it was withdrawn from the market in 2004. Though a group of small-scale studies had found a correlation between Vioxx and increased risk of heart attack, the FDA did not have convincing evidence until it completed its […]

Information Is Not Beef Jerky

(Guest post by Jane Yakowitz, Visiting Assistant Professor at Brooklyn Law School. Jane wrote an amicus brief in IMS v. Sorrell, on behalf of IMS.) Earlier today, the Supreme Court issued an opinion in Sorrell v. IMS Health that is likely to incense a lot of people that were familiar with the suit as a […]

Supreme Court Rx Records Case: Not So Bad

This morning the Supreme Court issued its 6-3 decision (PDF here) in a strange case that many privacy scholars had watched closely, Sorell v. IMS Health Inc. In my view, there are a few unfortunate signals in the case, mostly in dicta, but I’m not sure it’s terrible given its odd facts. (For more background, […]

Growing the Data Commons

Leon Neyfakh has a fascinating article in the Boston Globe on Jane Yakowitz‘s paper “Tragedy of the Data Commons.” It traces the rise of both privacy concerns and the debate over who owns data, and outlines her argument in favor of granting immunity from privacy-related legal liability to encourage contributions to the public commonweal of […]

Re-thinking HIV Criminalization

My friend and colleague Margo Kaplan has posted a smart, provocative new paper to SSRN, titled “Restoring Reason to HIV-Exposure Laws.” The piece, which is forthcoming in the Indiana Law Journal, questions the conventional wisdom on statutes that target the risk of HIV transmission. I was skeptical of the position before reading Margo’s article, and […]

Tragedy of the Data Commons

Jane Yakowitz has posted a great new paper on data privacy, Tragedy of the Data Commons, to SSRN. It builds on her previous empirical work, and argues that the regulatory and scholarly emphasis on the potential risks of anonymized public data is misplaced. It’s already proved helpfully controversial, and well worth a read. The abstract: […]

Crowdsourced Diagnosis of Harvard Law Professor’s Mystery Ailment

Fans of the open-source software movement are acquainted with Linus’ Law: “given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.” Translated into something more closely approximating conversational English, it means: the more people who examine a problem, the more likely it is that the solution will occur to at least one of them, even if the problem […]