Daniel Weitzner

Daniel Weitzner
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  • Position: Principal Research Scientist
  • Office: 32-G516
  • Phone: +1 (617) 253-8036
  • Email: djweitzner@csail.mit.edu
  • Areas of Study: Privacy, Internet Policy, Web Architecture
  • Last Update: June 6, 2016
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Daniel J. Weitzner is the Founding Director of the MIT Internet Policy Research Initiative and Principal Research Scientist at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab. His group studies the relationship between network architecture and public policy, and develops new Web architectures to meet policy challenges such as privacy and intellectual property rights. He teaches Internet public policy in the MIT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department. From 2011-2012, Weitzner was the United States Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Internet Policy in the White House, where he lead initiatives on online privacy, cybersecurity, Internet copyright, and trade policies to promote the free flow of information. He also was Associate Administrator for Policy at the United States Commerce Department National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Weitzner was a member of the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team. Weitzner has been a leader in the development of Internet public policy from its inception, making fundamental contributions to the successful fight for strong online free expression protection in the United States Supreme Court, crafting laws that provide protection against government surveillance of email and web browsing data. His work on US legislation limiting the liability of Internet Service Providers laid the foundations for social media services and supporting the global free flow of information online. Weitzner’s computer science research has pioneered the development of Accountable Systems architecture to enable computational treatment of legal rules and automated compliance auditing. At the World Wide Web Consortium, he lead the development of security and privacy standards, and Linked Data architectures now used to make data on the Web easier to analyze. While at MIT he launched the Web Science Research Initiative with Tim Berners-Lee, Wendy Hall, Nigel Shadbolt and James Hendler, a cross-disciplinary research initiative promoting research on the technical and social impact of the Web. Before joining MIT, Weitzner was founder and Deputy Director of the Center for Democracy and Technology, and Deputy Policy Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. He has testified before the United States Congress, the European Commission, and leading international bodies. Weitzner has law degree from Buffalo Law School, and a B.A. in Philosophy from Swarthmore College. His writings have appeared in Science magazine, the Yale Law Review, Communications of the ACM, the Washington Post, Wired Magazine and Social Research. In 2012 he was named to the Newsweek/Daily Beast Digital Power Index as a top Navigator of global Internet public policy. He received the International Association of Privacy Professionals Leadership Award in 2013.

Tag Cloud for Daniel Weitzner

    Policy, privacy, security, intellectual property, web, web architecture, internet governance


Abelson, H., Anderson, R., Weitzner, D. J., et al (2015). Keys under doormats: mandating insecurity by requiring government access to all data and communications. Journal of Cybersecurity (2015): Vol 1, pp. 1-11. Shih, F., Liccardi, I., Weitzner, D.J., "Privacy tipping points in smartphones privacy preferences." Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, 2015. Liccardi, I., Bulger, M., Abelson, H., Weitzner, D. J., & Mackay, W. (2014, July). Can apps play by the COPPA Rules?. In Privacy, Security and Trust (PST), 2014 Twelfth Annual International Conference on (pp. 1-9). IEEE. Weitzner, D. J., Abelson, H., Berners-Lee, T., Feigenbaum, J., Hendler, J., Sussman, G., Information Accountability, Communications of the ACM, June 2008. Kagal, L., Hanson, C., Weitzner, D.J., Integrated Policy Explanations via Dependency Tracking, IEEE Policy 2008


  • Messaging Malware Mobile Anti-Abuse Working Group: JD Falk Award (2015)
  • IAPP: Privacy Leadership Award (2013)
  • Newsweek/Daily Beast: Digital Power Index (2012)