Technological 'Disruption' of the Law's Imagined Scene: Some Lessons from Lex Informatica

32 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2022 Last revised: 28 Oct 2022

See all articles by Margot E. Kaminski

Margot E. Kaminski

University of Colorado Law School; Yale University - Yale Information Society Project; University of Colorado at Boulder - Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship

Date Written: June 30, 2022

Abstract

Joel Reidenberg in his 1998 Article Lex Informatica observed that technology can be a distinct regulatory force in its own right and claimed that law would arise in response to human needs. Today, law and technology scholarship continues to ask: does technology ever disrupt the law? This Article articulates one particular kind of “legal disruption”: how technology (or really, the social use of technology) can alter the imagined setting around which policy conversations take place—what Jack Balkin and Reva Siegal call the “imagined regulatory scene.” Sociotechnical change can alter the imagined regulatory scene’s architecture, upsetting a policy balance and undermining a particular regulation or regime’s goals. That is, sociotechnical change sometimes disturbs the imagined paradigmatic scenario not by departing from it entirely but by constraining, enabling, or mediating actors’ behavior that we want the law to constrain or protect. This Article identifies and traces this now common move in recent law and technology literature, drawing on Reidenberg’s influential and prescient work.

Keywords: Law and Technology, Law and Robotics, Technology Law, Privacy Law

Suggested Citation

Kaminski, Margot E., Technological 'Disruption' of the Law's Imagined Scene: Some Lessons from Lex Informatica (June 30, 2022). Berkeley Technology Law Journal, Vol. 36, 2022, U of Colorado Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 22-18, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4151067

Margot E. Kaminski (Contact Author)

University of Colorado Law School ( email )

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Boulder, CO 80309
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Yale University - Yale Information Society Project ( email )

127 Wall Street
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University of Colorado at Boulder - Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship ( email )

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Boulder, CO
United States

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