Karen Levy


Karen Levy



I’m an assistant professor in the Department of Information Science at Cornell University, associated faculty at Cornell Law School, and field faculty in Cornell’s Department of Science and Technology Studies and Department of Sociology. I research how rules and technologies interact to regulate behavior, with emphasis on legal, organizational, and social aspects of surveillance and monitoring.

I have a PhD in Sociology from Princeton University, where my dissertation work examined the development of legal and organizational surveillance in the United States trucking industry. I have a JD from Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law. Before joining Cornell, I was a postdoctoral fellow at New York University School of Law’s Information Law Institute, NYU’s Department of Media, Culture, and Communication, and the Data and Society Research Institute.





Recent news!

  • Vox made a really nice video about my trucking research. [11/17]
  • Two new articles in press: one in Policy & Internet about customer ratings as a backdoor for discriminatory employment outcomes (with Alex Rosenblat, Solon Barocas, and Tim Hwang; we won a Best Paper Award for it from the Oxford Internet Institute, and discussed it at New Scientist); and one in Washington University Law Review about the unique privacy vulnerabilities facing people in poverty (with Mary Madden, Michele Gilman, and Alice Marwick). [7/17]
  • New article! I wrote about what blockchain-based smart contracts get wrong about law, published in Engaging Science, Technology, and Society. [2/17]
  • My colleague Clara Berridge and I were awarded a grant from the Borchard Foundation to pursue research on state laws about surveillance cameras in nursing homes. [1/17]
  • I’m excited to affiliate with Cornell’s Center for the Study of Inequality and Media Studies Initiative. [1/17]
  • Solon Barocas and I wrote about our research on “refractive surveillance” — how data collection about one group can impact another — for the Harvard Business Review, and talked about it [dubbed in French] on France Culture radio. [10/16]
  • I’ve started my new position as Assistant Professor in the Department of Information Science at Cornell! [07/16]
  • My book, Data Driven: Truckers and the New Workplace Surveillance, is under contract with Princeton University Press, coming in 2018. [07/16]

…slightly less recent news