Old Facts Make Old Law: The Law as it Evolves to Meet Privacy Needs of the 21st Century


Mariah Hogan

Faculty Mentor(s)

Robert Claridge (Law & Justice)


Presently, Smith v. Maryland is the governing piece of authority over matters concerning the privacy of metadata – something that has grown in prevalence since the advent of the 21st century, and with it, the predominance of technologies such as social media and instant messaging in day-to-day life. Smith, which was decided in 1979, necessarily relies on facts that – while once relevant – are now outdated and, as a result, now hinder the full potential of the law to protect individual privacy rights over metadata. This presentation will provide an overview of Smith, with particular detail as to the implications of its time, and those that remain today. Further, this presentation will attempt to demonstrate the vulnerabilities our data and its rights face as a result of Smith’s continued standing, and will evaluate potential alternative legal avenues that can be pursued further in the name of complete protection beneath the law.

Keywords: Metadata, Privacy, Rights


1 thought on “Old Facts Make Old Law: The Law as it Evolves to Meet Privacy Needs of the 21st Century”

  1. Christine Henderson

    Hello Mariah, I enjoyed watching your presentation. I thought your discussion on the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution was great. I wonder what inspired you to do this research. Your discussion on subjective versus objectiveness was excellent. One item that I think would have been helpful to include is a statement of the rise or increase of the warrantless electronic surveillance, pen register, and trap and trace and the perception or belief that communities of color are surveilled while protesting at Black Lives Matter events. Your presentation was nicely formed and laid out. Great work, Mariah. It would have been great for you to include a slide about you. Your research is timely and vital. What was the number one takeaway from your study? Again, excellent, timely, meaningful, and great presentation.

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