Cybersecurity in Biotech: The Internet of Bodies (IoB)
This seminar introduces the next generation of information security issues in biotech: the ongoing progression of the Internet of Things (IoT) into the Internet of Bodies (IoB)—a network of human bodies whose integrity and functionality rely at least in part on the Internet and related technologies, such as artificial intelligence. IoB devices will evidence the same categories of legacy security flaws that have plagued IoT devices. However, unlike most IoT, IoB technologies will directly, physically harm human bodies—a set of harms courts, legislators, and regulators will deem worthy of legal redress. As such, IoB will herald the arrival of (some forms of) corporate software liability and a new legal and policy battle over the integrity of the human body and mind. Framing this integrity battle in light of current regulatory approaches, this seminar highlights where corporate conduct safeguards are needed through regulatory agency action, contract, tort, intellectual property, and secured transactions/bankruptcy.
Yet, the challenges of IoB are not purely legal in nature. The social integration of IoB will also not be seamless. As bits and bodies meld and as human flesh becomes permanently entwined with hardware, software, and algorithms, IoB will test our norms and values as a society. In particular, it will challenge notions of human autonomy and self-governance. Legal scholars have traditionally considered Kantian autonomy as the paradigmatic lens for legal determinations impacting the human body. However, IoB threatens to undermine a fundamental precondition of Kantian autonomy—Kantian heautonomy. Damaged heautonomy renders both Kantian autonomy and deliberative democracy potentially compromised. As such, this seminar explains why safeguarding heautonomy should constitute the animating legal principle for governance of IoB bodies.
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Professor Matwyshyn is the Associate Dean of Innovation and a professor at Penn State Law (University Park), a professor in Penn State Engineering, and the founding director of the Penn State PILOT Lab (Policy Innovation Lab of Tomorrow), an interdisciplinary technology policy lab. She is also a faculty affiliate of the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School and a Senior Fellow of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security.
She has worked in both the public and the private sector. In 2014, she served as the Senior Policy Advisor/ Academic in Residence at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. As public service, she has testified in Congress on issues of information security regulation, and she maintains ongoing policy engagement. Prior to becoming an academic, she was a corporate attorney in private practice, focusing her work on technology transactions. She continues to maintain collaborative technology industry relationships and has authored articles for the popular business press.
Professor Matwyshyn has previously held primary appointments in University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Northwestern University School of Law, University of Florida Levin College of Law, and Northeastern University School of Law/School of Computer Science, where she co-founded the Center for Law, Innovation, and Creativity (CLIC). She has also held visiting appointments or affiliations at the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, University of Edinburgh, Singapore Management University, Indian School of Business, University of Notre Dame, University of Pennsylvania School of Law, and Princeton University, where she was the Microsoft Visiting Professor of Information Technology Policy during 2014-15 and an affiliate scholar in 2015-2017. Professor Matwyshyn was a US-UK Fulbright Commission Cyber Security Scholar award recipient in 2016-2017.