The Lab’s Instructional Case Studies are designed to enhance tech policy capacity and fluency in a wide variety of settings from preparing policymakers to educating undergraduate students. The case studies bridge engineering, technical, policy, and ethics and prompt participants to consider the socio-technical aspects of a setting and to engage in a design activity that involves both technical and policy design. View Case Studies »

Internet of Things: Gaslighting and the Smart Home

This case study positions students to consider the features of a “Smart Home” and to explore a worst-case scenario, namely, that a smart home might be used in a gaslighting attack. Learners first consider how technologies in domestic settings can have ripple effects throughout society and then design policy and technical responses. Please Note: This case study contains potentially distressing content related to domestic abuse.

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Workforce Management: Scheduling Call-Center Workers

This case study positions students to consider the regulation of Workforce Management Systems. Students explore how forecasting and scheduling algorithms can lead to unstable and unpredictable work schedules. Such schedules, while perhaps economically advantageous to business, negatively impact the wellbeing of workers and their families with major implications for the public interest.

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NeighborSpin: Sharing Laundry Facilities

This case study introduces some of the political, social and technical aspects of the “Sharing Economy,” and positions learners to develop skills for writing value scenarios while exploring the implications and considerations of policy design and technology implication, explore the viewpoints of entrepreneurs and policymakers related to innovation, business modules, and community-based regulations, and explore how policy considerations and human factors can influence technology design and business models.

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Drones Okay Playground: Fun With Personal Drones

This case study introduces drones as a rapidly evolving socio-technical phenomenon, and positions students to develop skills for direct and indirect stakeholder analysis, and to explore how policy recommendations might be used to develop legal regulations and technical requirements for drones.

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