The Tech Policy Lab is a unique, interdisciplinary collaboration at the University of Washington that aims to enhance technology policy through research, education, and thought leadership. Founded in 2013 by faculty from the University’s Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, Information School, and School of Law, the Lab aims to bridge the gap between technologists and policymakers and to help generate wiser, more inclusive tech policy.

Our Impact

Cutting-Edge Research. This year, the Lab initiated exciting new work in areas such as adversarial machine learning and cybersecurity, mitigating bias in training datasets for natural language processing systems, the materiality of digital systems, and the prospect of intelligence gathering using advertising. We also continued work on ongoing projects such as Tech Policy Breakdowns and modeling of DNA and Internet of Things security.
Policy Impact. We had observable impacts on national and local policy. For example, our work influenced new legislation on AI, including California’s bot disclosure bill and legislation proposing the creation of a federal advisory committee for AI. Lab members have shared our research with the Congressional Research Service, national and state policymakers, and at Federal Trade Commission hearings.
Diverse Perspectives. Continuing our efforts to introduce diverse perspectives into tech policy, over the past year the Lab used our Diverse Voices process to garner feedback from non-mainstream stakeholders on the State of Washington Access to Justice Technology Principles – principles employed to guide the use and procurement of technology in the Washington state court system.

Read our most recent annual report

Our People

M. Ryan Calo is the Lane Powell and D. Wayne Gittinger Professor at the University of Washington School of Law and formerly a director at the Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society (CIS). Ryan researches the intersection of law and emerging technology, with an emphasis on robotics and the Internet.

Batya Friedman is a Professor in the Information School at the University of Washington where she co-directs the Value Sensitive Design Research Lab. Batya's research develops theory, methods, and toolkits for foregrounding human values in the design of new technologies, most recently with an emphasis on systems that will unfold over longer timeframes on the order of 100 years.

Tadayoshi (Yoshi) Kohno is a Professor in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington. Yoshi's research is focused on understanding and improving the computer security and privacy properties of current and future technologies.

Alex is the Program Manager for the Tech Policy Lab. He has a JD from the UW School of the Law and an MPA from the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy & Governance. Previously, he worked in state government and higher education in a variety of roles.  Alex is very interested in public policy and has a deep passion for UW.

Anna Lee Swan is a Postdoctoral Scholar for the Tech Policy Lab and the Center for an Informed Public. She earned her Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Washington, with an emphasis on gendered labor and global social media use. Previously, she worked on a variety of research and evaluation projects aiming to advance equity in STEM.

Emily M. Bender is a Professor of Linguistics and Adjunct Professor of Computer Science & Engineering and the University of Washington. She is the founding Faculty Director of the Professional Masters in Computational Linguistics (CLMS) program. Her research interests include computational semantics (representing human language meaning in machine-readable form), multilingual natural language processing, and technology for assisting in the documentation of endangered languages.

Alan Borning is Professor Emeritus in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering.  Alan's post-retirement projects include continuing work on tools to help make public transportation more accessible, easier, and more fun to use; and on critiquing and developing alternatives to surveillance capitalism.

Aylin Caliskan is an Assistant Professor in the Information School and, by courtesy, Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington and a Nonresident Fellow in Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution, housed in the Center for Technology Innovation. Aylin is interested in artificial intelligence (AI) ethics, AI bias, computer vision, natural language processing, and machine learning. Aylin develops transparency-enhancing algorithms to analyze how machines learn biases and consequently impact humans and society.

Howard Jay Chizeck is an Emeritus Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of Washington where he co-directs the Biorobotics Laboratory. He is also a faculty member in the Graduate Program in Neuroscience. His research interests are in telerobotics and neural engineering. Robotic research includes progressive autonomy control for robots operating underwater, in space and for terrestrial applications where it is too dangerous or otherwise inadvisable to have humans perform the tasks, and the security of these systems. His neural engineering research includes adaptive stimulation control to manage movement disorders such as essential tremor, and the design and security of brain-machine interfaces.

William Covington is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Washington School of Law and directs the Technology Law and Public Policy Clinic. The students in Bill’s Clinic study the policy making process and conduct in-depth examinations of areas where public policy and technology intersect.

David G. Hendry is associate professor at The Information School, University of Washington, where he teaches courses in human-computer interaction, information system design, and foundations of information science. He investigates tools, practices, and systems that create the conditions for sustainable, inclusive participation in the design of information systems.

Joe Lott is an Associate Professor in the College of Education at the University of Washington and the co-founder and Faculty Director of the Brotherhood Initiative, which focuses on empowering undergraduate men of color in areas of leadership, wellness, innovation, and social entrepreneurship. He investigates how design-based research methods can be leveraged to address the organizational cultures of large research universities that have created the conditions for disparate graduation rates between undergraduate men of color and their peers.

Franziska (Franzi) Roesner is an Assistant Professor in Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington. Franzi is broadly interested in issues related to computer security and privacy, particularly designing and building systems that address security and privacy challenges faced by end users of existing and emerging technologies.

Jan Whittington is an Assistant Professor of Urban Design and Planning and the director of the Urban Infrastructure Lab at the University of Washington. She studies the economics of the Internet and related physical infrastructures as platforms for the exchange of information, with effects on public trust, public services, private markets, privacy, and cybersecurity.

Jasmine is an undergraduate student at the University of Washington. She is interested in the regulation of big data, privacy and making tech equitable for all. Jasmine is a current intern for the Lab.

María P. Angel is a Ph.D. student in Law. She is interested in the intellectual history of privacy law scholarship, and believes that algorithms are pushing twenty-first century American law scholars to inadvertently propose the contours of a post-algorithmic privacy. She also works at the intersection of tech policy and Science, Technology, and Social Studies (STSS).

Kaiming Cheng is a Ph.D. student in the Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering and a member of the Security and Privacy Lab. He studies the security and privacy of Augmented/Virtual Reality. More specifically, he is interested in how will the future AR/VR system look like, what are the inheriting security and privacy flaws, and how can we protect end-user privacy.

Inyoung Cheong is a Ph.D. Candidate at the UW School of Law and a member of the Security and Privacy Lab at the UW Computer Science & Engineering and the Tech Policy Lab. Her research focuses on private and public regulation of free speech and privacy in the context of social media industries and algorithmic decision-making. Recently, Inyoung has explored collaborative governance models that motivate stakeholders to work toward online trust and safety.

Elias is a PhD student at the UW Information School. Elias' research explores rites of passage and liminality within the contexts of technology and design. In particular, Elias is interested in the intersection of liminal spaces and things, and the human interactions that are found there. Elias has a background in art and design, writing, and library science.

Salt is a PhD student in the Dept. of Communication at UW. He works with the Community Data Science Collective studying online peer production projects such as Linux, Scratch, and Wikipedia. Salt has a background in free/libre/open source software, information security, and community organizing.

Rachel Hong is a Ph.D. student in the Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering and a member of the Security and Privacy Lab, the Washington AI Lab, and the Tech Policy Lab. She studies bias in machine learning and is interested in bridging theoretical and empirical work in the field of algorithmic fairness.

Nathan is an undergraduate student at UW Information school. He studies software engineering and is interested in exploring how to leverage blockchain to track people’s data ownership and transparently record and distribute royalties each time the data is accessed or used.

Jenna Lee (they/them) is a second-year law student and Hazelton Fellow at the University of Washington School of Law. They are passionate about data privacy and cybersecurity and are currently exploring their interests in intellectual property through their coursework.

Nick Logler is a PhD student in the Information School. He works in the value sensitive design lab exploring the spaces between our ability to build technical systems and our ability to think ethically about them. His own research is investigates how people are affected by experiences of designing, building, and making using different creative technologies.

Rachel is a PhD student in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering and a member of the Security and Privacy lab and the Tech Policy Lab. Her research is generally in the area of security and privacy of emerging technologies. Recently, she published work about private information leakages in online real estate websites.

Angelina McMillan-Major is a PhD student in the Linguistics Department. Angie’s research focuses on computational methodologies for low-resource language documentation and revitalization and the interaction between language, technology, and society.

Kentrell Owens is a PhD student in the Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering and a member of the Security and Privacy Research Lab. He is specifically interested in the computer security and privacy needs of underserved communities. He has recently published work on web authentication, the surveillance of the communication of incarcerated people and their families, and the risks of using smartphone applications for electronic monitoring (e.g., as a condition of probation/parole).

Andrew is a Hazelton Fellow at the Tech Policy Lab and an M.J. candidate at the University of Washington School of Law. Andrew has a background in cognitive science and specializes in AI law and regulation. While broadly interested in all matters of tech policy, Andrew is most interested in exploring civil remedies for autonomous vehicle-related injuries and defamation arising from deepfake technologies.

Charles is a third-year UW law student and previous Hazelton Fellow who worked on 2020 election misinformation at the Center for an Informed Public. Before law school, he was a flight officer in the US Navy who worked in information security and with military encrypted communications. A current editor on the Washington Journal of Law, Tech, and Arts (WJLTA), he was also a team captain for the 2022 Tang Moot Court National competition team for UW Law. He is interested in practicing in the fields of antitrust, civil rights, election law, and privacy law.

Manisha is an Undergraduate student at the Foster School of Business studying Finance and minoring in Law, Societies and Justice. She is interested in social impact and public sector consulting which allows her to learn about the intersection of higher education, economic development, and technical business background to give back to underprivileged groups. She is currently researching more about the Lab's background regarding cultural changes in artificial intelligence to assist with branding strategies.

Miranda Wei is a PhD student in the Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering and a member of the Security and Privacy Lab. She studies user-centered security and privacy, particularly systematic factors such as gender and collectivity. Miranda is broadly interested in supporting users' agency and control over their own data.

Our Funders

The Tech Policy Lab receives support from the following organizations, including a generous founding gift from Microsoft in 2013.


Challenge Seattle
City of Seattle
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Knight Foundation
MacArthur Foundation
National Science Foundation IIS-1621492
Rose Foundation Consumer Privacy Rights Fund
Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Pierre and Pamela Omidyar Fund


Research at the Tech Policy Lab is driven exclusively by faculty interest. The Tech Policy Lab seeks to produce impartial research and educational materials around technology policy. Given this goal, the Tech Policy Lab does not take research money from corporations or other private donors with strings attached. All private donors freely agree to give funds as unrestricted gifts, for which there is no contractual agreement and no promised products, results, or deliverables of any kind. Government and foundation grants also follow appropriate protocols to ensure neutrality.