Privacy Law's Indeterminacy

20 Theoretical Inquiries L. XX (2019)

17 Pages Posted: 3 Dec 2018

See all articles by Ryan Calo

Ryan Calo

University of Washington - School of Law; Stanford University - Law School; Yale Law School

Date Written: November 8, 2018


American Legal Realism numbers among the most important theoretical contributions of legal academia to date. Given the movement’s influence, as well as the common centrality of certain key figures, it is surprising that privacy scholarship in the United States has paid next to no attention to the movement. This inattention is unfortunate for several reasons, including that privacy law furnishes rich examples of the indeterminacy thesis — a key concept of American Legal Realism — and because the interdisciplinary efforts of privacy scholars to explore extra-legal influences on privacy law arguably further the plot of legal realism itself. The application of social science to privacy has, if anything, deepened its indeterminacy.

Keywords: privacy, legal realism

Suggested Citation

Calo, Ryan, Privacy Law's Indeterminacy (November 8, 2018). 20 Theoretical Inquiries L. XX (2019). Available at SSRN:

Ryan Calo (Contact Author)

University of Washington - School of Law ( email )

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