Danielle K. Citron

  • Jefferson Scholars Foundation Schenck Distinguished Professor in Law
  • Caddell and Chapman Professor of Law

Danielle Citron is the Jefferson Scholars Foundation Schenck Distinguished Professor in Law at UVA, where she writes and teaches about privacy, free expression and civil rights. Her scholarship and advocacy have been recognized nationally and internationally. In 2019, Citron was named a MacArthur Fellow based on her work on cyberstalking and intimate privacy. In 2018, she received the UMD Champion of Excellence award and in 2015, the United Kingdom’s Prospect Magazine named her one of the Top 50 World Thinkers and The Daily Record named her one of the Top 50 Most Influential Marylanders.

Her book “Hate Crimes in Cyberspace” (Harvard University Press, 2014) was widely praised in published reviews, discussed in blog posts and named one of the 20 Best Moments for Women in 2014 by the editors of Cosmopolitan magazine. She has published more than 40 law review articles, including in the Yale Law Journal, Michigan Law Review (three times), California Law Review (twice), Southern California Law Review, Texas Law Review and many more, which have won professional awards from the International Association of Privacy Professionals as well as from the privacy think tank Future of Privacy. She has written more than 40 opinion pieces for major media outlets, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, the Guardian, Time and Slate.

For the past decade, Citron has worked with lawmakers, law enforcement and tech companies to combat invasions of intimate privacy. In June 2019, she testified before Congress about the national security and privacy risks of deepfakes and have been working with Hill staff on a bill to criminalize digital forgeries. She has been deeply involved in reform efforts around the regulation of online platforms. In October 2019, she testified before Congress about Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. She is currently working with Senate and House staff (both for individual members as well as committees) on proposed Section 230 amendments, and has been working with major tech companies on privacy matters. Since 2011, she has been a member of Facebook’s Non-Consensual Intimate Imagery Task Force and an adviser and a member of Twitter’s Trust and Safety Task Force and as an adviser to the company since 2009.

From 2014 to 2016, Citron served as an advisor to then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris and as a member of Harris’ Task Force to Combat Cyber Exploitation and Violence Against Women. In October 2015, Citron, with Harris, spoke at a press conference to discuss her office’s new online resource for law enforcement and individuals whose nude images were disclosed without consent. In 2011, Citron testified about misogynistic cyber hate speech before the Inter-Parliamentary Committee on Anti-Semitism at the House of Commons in the United Kingdom.

Citron is the vice president of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, a nonprofit devoted to fighting for civil rights and liberties in the digital age that was founded in 2013 and named after her article “Cyber Civil Rights.” She serves on the boards of directors of the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Future of Privacy, as well as on the Advisory Board of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Technology and Society and the Center on Investigative Journalism. In 2020, she received a $75,000 grant from the Knight Foundation to study the salutary impact of intimate privacy laws on victims, a project that she is co-leading with Canadian academic Jonathon Penney.

Citron is an affiliate scholar at the Stanford Center on Internet and Society, Yale Information Society Project, and NYU’s Policing Project. She is a member of Axon’s advisory board on artificial intelligence ethics. As a member of the American Law Institute, she serves as an adviser to the Restatement Third, Information Privacy Principles Project and Restatement (Third) Torts: Defamation and Privacy.

Citron has appeared on film and television (HBO’s “Vice News,” HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” Hulu’s “The Weekly,” “Netizens,” and HBO’s “Swiped”); quoted in hundreds of news articles, interviewed on National Public Radio more than 25 times; appeared on podcasts for Slate, Lawfare, The Guardian and The Boston Globe; and given a TED talk, “How Deepfakes Undermine Truth and Democracy,” at the 2019 TED Global Summit. Her TED talk has been viewed more than 1.9 million times. She has given more than 400 talks at major universities, federal and state agencies, the National Holocaust Museum, the Wikimedia Foundation, the National Association of Attorneys General, and think tanks.

Before joining UVA Law, Citron taught at Boston University School of Law and the University of Maryland School of Law. She has been a visiting professor at Fordham Law School and George Washington Law School. In 2016, she was a Dean’s Distinguished Visitor at Washington University School of Law and an interdisciplinary studies fellow at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.


  • B.A.
    Duke University
  • J.D.
    Fordham University School of Law

Books and Book Chapters:

Hate Crimes in Cyberspace (Harvard University Press, 2014).

“Why Combating Online Abuse Is Good for Free Speech,” in Susan Brison and Katharine Gelber eds., Free Speech in the Digital Age (Oxford University Press, 2019).

“The Surveillance Implications of Combatting Cyber Harassment” (with Liz Clark Rinehart), in David Gray and Stephen Henderson eds., Cambridge Handbook of Surveillance Law 291 (Cambridge University Press, 2017).

“Protecting Sexual Privacy in the Information Age,” in Marc Rotenberg, Jeramie Scott, and Julia Horwitz eds., Privacy in the Modern Age: The Search for Solutions 46 (New Press, 2015).

“Civil Rights in the Information Age,” in Martha Nussbaum & Saul Levmore eds., The Offensive Internet: Speech, Privacy and Reputation 31 (Harvard University Press, 2010).

Articles and Essays:

“The Automated Administrative State: A Crisis of Legitimacy” (with Ryan Calo), 70 Emory L.J. 797 (2021).

“A New Compact for Sexual Privacy,” 62 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. (2021).

The Internet As a Speech Conversion Machine and Other Myths Confounding Section 230 Reform Efforts” (with Mary Anne Franks), U. Chi. Legal Forum (forthcoming).

Cyber Mobs, Disinformation, and Death Videos: The Internet As It Is (and As It Should Be),” 118 Mich. L. Rev. 1073 (2020).

Sexual Privacy,” 128 Yale L.J. 1870 (2019).

The Roots of Sexual Privacy: Warren and Brandeis & the Privacy of Intimate Life,” 42 Colum. J.L. & Arts 383 (2019).

Deep Fakes: A Looming Crisis for Privacy, Democracy, and National Security” (with Robert Chesney), 107 Calif. L. Rev. 1753 (2019).

Why Sexual Privacy Matters for Trust,” 96 Wash. U. L. Rev. 1189 (2019).

When Law Frees Us to Speak” (with Jonathon Penney), 87 Fordham L. Rev. 2317 (2019).

A Poor Mother’s Right to Privacy: A Review,” 98 B.U. L. Rev. 1139 (2018) (reviewing Khiara Bridges, The Poverty of Privacy Rights (2017)).

Platform Justice: Content Moderation at an Inflection Point” (with Quinta Jurecic), Hoover Institution Aegis Paper Series (2018).

“Four Principles for Digital Speech (You Won’t Believe #3!)” (with Neil Richards), 95 Wash. U. L. Rev. 1353 (2018).

Extremist Speech, Compelled Conformity, and Censorship Creep,” 93 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1035 (2018).

Risk and Anxiety: A Theory of Data Breach Harms” (with Daniel J. Solove), 96 Tex. L. Rev. 737 (2018).

The Internet Will Not Break: Denying Bad Samaritans Section 230 Immunity” (with Benjamin Wittes), 86 Fordham L. Rev. 401 (2017).

The Privacy Policymaking of State Attorneys General,” 92 Notre Dame L. Rev. 747 (2016).

Spying Inc.,” 72 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 1243 (2015).

Criminalizing Revenge Porn” (with Mary Anne Franks), 49 Wake Forest L. Rev. 345 (2014).

The Scored Society: Due Process for Automated Predictions” (with Frank Pasquale), 89 Wash. L. Rev. 1 (2014).

The Right to Quantitative Privacy” (with David Gray), 98 Minn. L. Rev. 62 (2013).

A Shattered Looking Glass: The Pitfalls and Potential of the Mosaic Theory of Fourth Amendment Privacy” (with David Gray), 14 N.C. J.L. & Tech. 381 (2013).

Fighting Cybercrime After United States v. Jones” (with David Gray and Liz Clark Rinehart), 103 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 745 (2013).

Addressing the Harm of Total Surveillance: A Reply to Professor Neil Richards” (with David Gray), 126 Harv. L. Rev. Forum 262 (2013).

Mainstreaming Privacy Torts,” 99 Calif. L. Rev. 1805 (2011) (excerpted in William McGeveran, Privacy and Data Protection Law (Foundation Press, 2016)).

Intermediaries and Hate Speech: Fostering Digital Citizenship for the Information Age” (with Helen Norton), 91 B.U. L. Rev. 1435 (2011).

Network Accountability for the Domestic Intelligence Apparatus” (with Frank Pasquale), 62 Hastings L.J. 1441 (2011).

Fulfilling Government 2.0’s Promise with Robust Privacy Protection,” 78 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 822 (2010).

Government Speech 2.0” (with Helen Norton), 88 Denv. U. L. Rev. 899 (2010).

Visionary Pragmatism and the Value of Privacy in the Information Age” (with Leslie Meltzer Henry), 108 Mich. L. Rev. 1107 (2010) (reviewing Daniel J. Solove, Understanding Privacy (2008)).

Law’s Expressive Value in Combating Cyber Gender Harassment,” 108 Mich. L. Rev. 373 (2009).

Cyber Civil Rights,” 89 B.U. L. Rev. 61 (2009).

The Privacy Implications of Deep Packet Inspection,” in Deep Packet Inspection: A Collection of Essays by Industry Experts (Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, 2009).

Open Code Governance,” 16 U. Chi. Legal Forum 355 (2008).

Technological Due Process,” 85 Wash. U. L. Rev. 1249 (2008).

Reservoirs of Danger: The Evolution of Public and Private Law at the Dawn of the Information Age,” 80 Southern Cal. L. Rev. 241 (2007).

Minimum Contacts in a Borderless World: Voice over Internet Protocol and the Coming Implosion of Personal Jurisdiction Theory,” 39 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 1481 (2006).

Planned Parenthood v. Casey: From U.S. “Rights Talk” To Western European “Responsibility Talk,” 16 Fordham Int’l L.J. 761 (1992).

Short Pieces and Op-Eds:

The Latest Tech Hearing Is About Helping Trump on Election Day” (with Spencer Overton), Slate (Oct. 28, 2020).

Digital Platforms’ Power Over Speech Should Not Go Unchecked,” Knight Foundation Blog (June 16, 2020).

All’s Clear for Deep Fakes: Think Again” (with Robert Chesney and Hany Farid), Lawfare (May 11, 2020).

“Cyber Civil Rights in the Age of COVID-19” (with Mary Anne Franks), Harv. L. Rev. Blog (May 14, 2020).

Be very wary of Trump’s health surveillance plans” (with Geng Ngarmboonanant), Wash. Post (April 16, 2020).

Facebook Takes a Step Forward on Deepfakes—And Stumbles” (with Robert Chesney, Quinta Jurecic), Lawfare (Jan. 8, 2020).

Tech Companies Get a Free Pass on Moderating Content,” Slate (Oct. 16, 2019).

The Internet’s ‘Safe Harbor’ Is Not Safe for Kids,” Common Sense Media (Sept. 6, 2019).

Campaigns Must Prepare for Deepfakes: This Is What Their Plan Should Look Like” (with Katherine Charlet), Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (Sept. 5, 2019). 

The Automated Administrative State” (with Ryan Calo), Harvard Kennedy School Shorenstein Center: The Ethical Machine (Apr. 8, 2019).

New York’s Revenge Porn Law: Missed Opportunity to Protect Sexual Privacy” (with Mary Anne Franks), Harv. L. Rev. Blog (Mar. 19, 2019).

Deep Fakes and the New Disinformation War” (with Robert Chesney), Foreign Affairs (Jan./Feb. 2019).

Disinformation on Steroids: The Threat of Deep Fakes” (with Robert Chesney), Council on Foreign Relations Issue Brief (Oct. 16, 2018).

We Don’t Need a National Data Center of the Poor” (with David A. Super), Slate (May 8, 2018).

Section 230’s Challenge to Civil Rights and Civil Liberties,” Columbia University Knight First Amendment Institute (Apr. 2018).

FOSTA: The New Anti-Sex Trafficking Law May Not End the Internet, But It Isn’t a Good Law Either” (with Quinta Jurecic), Lawfare (Mar. 28, 2018).

Deep Fakes: A Looming Crisis for National Security, Democracy, and Privacy?” (with Bobby Chesney), Lawfare (Feb. 21, 2018).

The U.S. Has Started Cracking Down on Cyber Harassment,” The Atlantic (Dec. 5, 2017).

“What to Do about the Emerging Threat of Censorship Creep on the Internet,” Cato Institute Policy Analysis No. 828 (Nov. 28, 2017).

What We Learn From Government Speech About Hate” (with Helen Norton), Lawfare (Aug. 17, 2017).

The Tyranny of Perfect Surveillance and Other Lessons from The Circle” (with Ellie Citron), Museum of the Moving Image Sloan Science and Film Blog (May 5, 2017).

Follow Buddies and Block Buddies: A Simple Proposal to Improve Civility, User Control, and Privacy on Twitter” (with Benjamin Wittes), Lawfare (Jan. 4, 2017).

Five Unexpected Lessons from the Ashley Madison Breach” (with Woodrow Hartzog), Ars Technica (Dec. 29, 2016).

Like Everyone Else, He Should Be Able to Talk to Whom He Wants,N.Y. Times Room for Debate (Nov. 21, 2016).

Enforce Existing Laws to Combat Online Threats,” N.Y. Times Room for Debate (Aug. 4, 2016).

We Will Look Back at Cyber Harassment as a Disgrace—If We Act Now,” The Guardian (Apr. 15, 2016).

Attorney General Kamala Harris to Help Law Enforcement in Investigating Criminal Invasions of Sexual Privacy,” International Association of Chiefs of Police Cyber Center (Oct. 20, 2015).

Online Engagement On Equal Terms,” B.U. L. Rev. Annex (Oct. 19, 2015).

Leave the Cheaters in Peace: If You Poke Around the Ashley Madison Hack, You are Aiding and Abetting the Hackers” (with Maram Salaheldin), N.Y. Daily News (Aug. 24, 2015).

Parents, Teens, and Technology: Starting the Conversation” (with Julia Jean Citron), Forbes (Aug. 19, 2015).

Some Good News for Data Breach Victims, For A Change,” Forbes (July 21, 2015).

Expand Harassment Laws to Protect Victims of Online Abuse,” Al-Jazeera America (Mar. 21, 2015).

Regulating Revenge Porn Isn’t Censorship” (with Neil Richards), Al-Jazeera America (Feb. 11, 2015).

The Decision That Could Finally Kill the Revenge Porn Business” (with Woodrow Hartzog)
The Atlantic (Feb. 2, 2015).

Companies Should Reject Online Threats,” N.Y. Times Room for Debate (Dec. 3, 2014).

On Legal Scholarship” (with Robin West), AALS.org.

To Defeat Trolls, We Need To Do More than Just Jail Them,” New Scientist (Oct. 22, 2014).

Cops Don’t Take Harassment of Women Seriously—Especially Online,” Time (Oct. 17, 2014).

Open Letter to Jennifer LawrenceForbes (Oct. 8, 2014).

Just Because a Hate Crime Occurs on the Internet Does Not Mean It is not a Hate Crime
Time (Oct. 7, 2014).

Can and Should Perez Hilton Be Held Liable For Reposting Celebrities’ Private Photos Without Consent” (with Neil Richards), Forbes (Sept. 3, 2014).

Free Speech Does Not Protect Cyber Harassment,” N.Y. Times Room for Debate (Aug. 19, 2014).

Big Data Should Be Regulated By ‘Technological Due Process,’” N.Y. Times Room for Debate (Aug. 6, 2014).

The Facebook Justice System: The Social Network Needs to Change How It Deals with Online Abuse,” Slate (Aug. 6, 2014).

“The Rising Tide of Cyber Hate” (Sally Quinn ed.), On Faith (July 16, 2014).

It’s Simple: Punish Revenge Porn, or Let Men Punish Women They Don’t Like” (with Mary Anne Franks), The Guardian.com (UK), (Apr. 17, 2014).

Revenge Porn: A Pernicious Form of Cyber Gender Harassment,” Balt. Sun (Dec. 15, 2013).

How to Make Revenge Porn a Crime: Worried about Free Speech, Don’t Be,” Slate (Nov. 7, 2013).

Revenge Porn Should Be A Crime,” CNN.com (Aug. 29, 2013).

Sunday Dialogue: Anonymity and Incivility on the Internet,“ N.Y. Times Sunday Review (Nov. 27, 2011).

Current Courses

All Courses

Civil Procedure
Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in the Information Age
Free Speech in a Digital Age
Information Privacy



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