2022 Theme: Personal Information, Power, and the Intersection of Technology and Society

Data-driven and data-intensive technologies have touched and are transforming, nearly every dimension of society. These technologies often provide the means for one entity to exercise power or influence over others—or to counteract that power. They frequently present inherently interdisciplinary opportunities and challenges that cannot be understood, or managed, with a single perspective, skillset, or discipline. Thus, while law and policy are essential means to address these issues, effective legal or policy analysis must often incorporate insights from other fields, including computer science, economics, behavioral health, statistics, public health, education, and more.

This year’s writing competition invites submissions on Personal Information, Power, and the Intersection of Technology and Society.  Submitted papers should in some way address data-driven or data-intensive technologies: that rely on or make use of personal information; that can be used to project, reinforce, or counteract power or influence differentials among and between individuals, groups, or corporate or government actors; and that raise issues for which interdisciplinary approaches can make substantial contributions. For purposes of determining what topics fall within the scope of this writing competition, the understanding and definitions of “personal information,” “power,” and “data-driven or data-intensive technologies” should be broadly construed.

Example topics could include, but are by no means limited to: censorship and freedom of expression; inequities in internet access and the digital divide; cybersecurity threats and responses; information privacy and data protection; national security surveillance and cross-border data transfer; use of personal information in employment relationships and the gig economy; use of data-intensive and data-driven technologies in education; technology-enabled uses of data for leverage in interpersonal relationships; algorithmic governance; and information operations in geopolitics or global conflict.

Students are invited to submit papers that provide analysis or insights derived from or related to interdisciplinary approaches to these questions, that examine proposed or newly-enacted laws related to these questions, or that propose novel legal structures to engage with current gaps.

Preference will be given to papers that are relevant to current legal and public policy debates or that present an original perspective.

PRIZE

  • Up to three winners will be selected, with a First Prize of $4,000, a Second Prize of $2,500, and a Third Prize of $1,000.
  • Winning papers may be selected for publication in the Georgetown Law Technology Review.

COMPETITION RULES

  • Papers will be accepted from students enrolled at any ABA-accredited law school in the United States during the 2021-2022 academic year. The paper must be the author’s own work, although students may incorporate feedback received as part of an academic course or supervised writing project. The paper must not have been published or committed for publication in another journal; The Georgetown Law Technology Review must have the first right of publication for any winning essay.
  • Papers will be evaluated based on thoroughness of research and analysis, relevance to the competition topic, relevance to current legal and/or public policy debates, originality of thought, and clarity of expression.
  • Papers should be 3000-6000 words long (not including footnotes) and be submitted in Times New Roman Size 12 font, single spaced. Footnotes must conform to the 20th edition of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation. Papers must be in English.

COMPETITION DEADLINE

  • Papers must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EST on May 31, 2022
  • Papers must be submitted via email to TechInstitute@law.georgetown.edu in Word format with the file named in the format “LastName_FirstName_WritingCompetition”.
  • Papers must be preceded by a cover page (included in the same Word file) containing the following information:
    • Full Name of Author
    • Name of ABA-accredited Law School
    • Graduation Year
    • Email Address
    • Phone Number
    • The following affirmation: I affirm that this paper is an original work of scholarship authored by me. The paper (or a variation thereof authored by me) has not been published, or committed for publication, in any other publication. If this paper is selected as a winner, I grant The Georgetown Law Technology Review the right of first publication of the paper. I have read and agree to the Competition Rules set forth at https://www.law.georgetown.edu/tech-institute/programs/writing-competition/  
  • Entrant’s name and law school shall only appear on the cover page. Papers shall contain no identifying information.

NOTIFICATION OF WINNER

  • The winner will be notified by phone or email on or before August 31, 2022.

FINE PRINT

  • The judges’ decisions are final.
  • Winners will be required to submit a completed W-9, affidavit of eligibility, tax acknowledgment, and liability release for tax purposes as a condition to receiving the cash prize. All forms must be completed and returned via email within 14 days of receipt, or prizes will be considered forfeited and another winner may be named. 
  • The authors of papers that are selected for publication will be required to sign GLTR’s standard agreement warranting the entry’s originality and granting GLTR first publication rights. 
  • If a potential winner does not respond within 14 days of the first attempt to contact them or the contact email is returned as non-deliverable, the potential winner forfeits all rights to be named as a winner or receive a prize and an alternate winner may be chosen.
  • Entrants may submit multiple entries per year. Jointly authored papers are eligible, provided all authors meet the eligibility requirements for the competition. If a winning paper has more than one author the prize will be split equally among the co-authors.
  • Winners will be solely responsible for all federal, state, local or other taxes on the prize if any such taxes apply. Cash prizes will only be paid in U.S. Dollars via check or bank transfer. Any bank fees that may be charged as a part of the award process will be deducted from the prize.  
  • Georgetown Law’s Institute for Technology Law & Policy (“Institute”) and the Georgetown Technology Law Review (“GTLR”) are not responsible for incorrect or inaccurate entry information; late, lost, or misdirected entries; or computer errors or issues, including any bug, computer virus or other technical failure. 
  • In the unlikely event that no entries are of sufficient quality to merit an award, the Institute and the GLTR reserve the right to declare no winners and award no prizes.
  • The Writing Competition is governed by U.S. law, and all relevant federal, state, and local rules and regulations apply. By participating, all entrants agree that the competition shall be governed by the laws of the District of Columbia and that the courts of the District of Columbia shall have exclusive jurisdiction for any dispute or litigation relating to or arising from the competition. Void where prohibited by law.  
  • By participating, each entrant agrees to the rules of the Writing Competition and the decisions of the Institute and GLTR and releases, discharges, and holds harmless the Institute and GLTR and each of their respective officers, directors, members, employees, independent contractors, agents, representatives, successors, and assigns from any and all liability whatsoever in connection with the Writing Competition, including without limitation legal claims, costs, injuries, loss or damages, demands, or actions of any kind.
  • This Writing Competition may be canceled, modified, or terminated for any reason. 

Questions?

Email TechInstitute@law.georgetown.edu

Additional Links

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Are you an academic or practitioner interested in submitting an article? Go here.

Are you an engineer or other techie who wants to write/ peer review the GLTR’s signature Tech Explainers? Contact here.