Faculty in the News

Margot Kaminski Media Hits

The following is a list of selected media coverage for Margot Kaminski. The links below will direct you to sites that are not affiliated with the Moritz College of Law. They are subject to change, and some may expire or require registration as time passes.


Amazon Echo and the internet of things that spy on you

March 2, 2017

Professor Margot Kaminski was quoted in Popular Science about the First Amendment rights of Amazon Echo owners.

In December 2015, following the death of Victor Collins, Arkansas police filed a search warrant with Amazon for audio recordings from an Amazon Echo (a robotic personal assistant) located at the scene of the incident. Because the device is always on and listening to its surroundings, officials believe access to the recordings could offer valuable insight into their investigation. In February, the tech company filed a motion to quash the warrant, however, arguing that the search is a violation of First Amendment and privacy rights. 

“What Amazon’s doing is drawing on a line of cases that say there is a connection between freedom of expression, which is protected by the First Amendment, and privacy,” Kaminski said. “That connection is that when you have government surveillance—especially of intellectual activity, let’s say listening to music or reading books or buying books or even using the search engine—that surveillance implicates intellectual freedom in a way that’s important for free expression.”

Donald Trump’s surveillance state: All the tools to suppress dissent and kill free speech are already in place

November 27, 2016

Professor Margot Kaminski was quoted in Salon about President-elect Donald Trump’s surveillance powers. Citizens are less likely to protest, speak out against the government, or act in a political manner if they feel like they are being watched or monitored, she said.

“There’s fairly significant evidence to back the idea that when you think you’re being watched you tend to conform, in large part because humans are fairly conformist animals, and we like making sure that our neighbors don’t hate us,” Kaminski said. “This is the reason the Stasi established its version of a surveillance state in East Germany, because if people think they’re being watched all the time, they’re more likely to move toward the mean, which means less dissent.”

Who Will Protect You from Drone Surveillance?

October 27, 2016

Professor Margot Kaminski was quoted in MIT Technology Review about the unique privacy issues commercial drones pose as they continue to gain popularity. Although drone industry groups and companies like Amazon released a voluntary set of best privacy practices for drone operators earlier this year, there are “pretty large loopholes baked in” and few incentives to comply, Kaminski said.

The Scarlett Johansson Bot Is the Robotic Future of Objectifying Women

April 4, 2016

Professor Margot Kaminski was quoted in Wired magazine about the future of robotics...and gender:

"'There’s no doubt that as the robotics technology democratizes, we’ll see an increase in attempts to make your own personalized Kim Kardashian, for example,' says Ohio State University law professor Margot Kaminski. 'And there’s also no doubt in my mind that this will have a gendered component. Siri’s a woman, Cortana’s a woman; if robots exist to perform labor or personal assistances, there’s a darn good chance they’ll be women.'”

Drone Privacy: Is Anyone in Charge?

February 11, 2016

Professor Margot Kaminski was quoted in a Consumer Reports article about drone privacy:

The ACLU, which supports the Markey bill, argued as far back as 2011 that a lack of oversight could lead to excessive surveillance by law enforcement using drones. Yet some legal analysts warn that the opposite situation also poses dangers: If regulations were poorly written, they could end up protecting government and commercial operators of drones, while restricting everyone else. For instance, some states are considering laws that would prevent journalists from using drones to photograph conditions on big industrial farms, according to Margot Kaminski, a law professor at Ohio State. Kaminski urges patience on the federal level. “Clarity comes at the cost of experimentation, and early law is likely to be over-reaching,” she says. Some restrictive laws could end up being struck down in the courts. But by letting states, counties, and towns try to get this right, Kaminski argues, we may end up with a reasonable understanding of when and how drones fit into our daily lives.

House hearing sheds light on UAS tech, economic impacts

November 19, 2015

Professor Margot Kaminski was mentioned in a UAS Magazine article on a U.S. House of Representatives hearing on small unmanned aircraft, or drones. She testified at the hearing.