Danielle K. Citron

  • Jefferson Scholars Foundation Schenck Distinguished Professor in Law
  • Caddell and Chapman Professor of Law
  • Director, LawTech Center

Danielle Citron is the Jefferson Scholars Foundation Schenck Distinguished Professor in Law and Caddell and Chapman Professor of 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. She serves as the inaugural director of the school’s LawTech Center, which focuses on pressing questions in law and technology.

Her latest book, “The Fight for Privacy: Protecting Dignity, Identity, and Love in the Digital Age” (W.W. Norton and Penguin Vintage UK), was published in October 2022 and has been featured and excerpted in Wired, Fortune, Washington Monthly, Library Journal, Guardian (UK), Prospect Magazine (UK) and The Times (UK). Amazon named her book in the Top 100 books of 2022. Her first 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 50 articles and essays, including in the Yale Law Journal, Michigan Law Review, California Law Review, Boston University Law Review, Washington University Law Review, Emory Law Journal, Southern California Law Review, Texas Law Review, and many more, which have won professional awards from the International Association of Privacy Professionals and privacy think tank Future of Privacy, and been cited by state and federal courts. She has written more than 50 opinion pieces for major media outlets, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, the Guardian, Time, CNN and Slate.

For the past decade, Citron has worked with lawmakers, law enforcement and tech companies to combat online abuse and to protect intimate privacy. In June 2019, she testified before Congress about the national security and privacy risks of deepfakes. She has been 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. 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 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. Since 2011, she has been a member of Facebook’s Non-Consensual Intimate Imagery Task Force. She served as an adviser to Twitter from 2009-2022, and as an adviser and member of Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council from 2016-2022. She is an adviser to the dating app Bumble, the music-streaming service Spotify, the video-sharing platform TikTok and the video-streaming service Twitch.

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 founded in 2013 and named after her article “Cyber Civil Rights.” She serve on the board 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 Jon Penney.

Citron is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 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. She is an affiliate scholar at the Yale Information Society Project and NYU’s Policing Project. 

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; appeared on podcasts for The New York Times, 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 3.4 million times. She has given more than 300 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


How To Fix Section 230, Boston University Law Review (2023).
Foreword, Join the Fight for Intimate Privacy, European Union Data Protection Law Review (2023).
Intimate Privacy in a Post-Roe World, Florida Law Review (2023).


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

Book Chapters

Why Combating Online Abuse Is Good for Free Speech, in Free Speech in the Digital Age, Oxford University Press, 122–136 (2019).
The Surveillance Implications of Combatting Cyber Harassment (with Liz Clark Rinehart), in Cambridge Handbook of Surveillance Law, Cambridge University Press, 291–307 (2017).
Protecting Sexual Privacy in the Information Age, in Privacy in the Modern Age: The Search for Solutions, New Press, 46–54 (2015).
Civil Rights in the Information Age, in The Offensive Internet: Speech, Privacy and Reputation, Harvard University Press, 31–49 (2010).

Articles & Reviews

FOSTA's Mess (with Quinta Jurecic), 26 Virginia Journal of Law & Technology 1–26 (2023).
Intimate Privacy’s Protection Enables Free Speech, 2 Journal of Free Speech Law 3–16 (2022).
Presidential Privacy Violations, 2022 University of Illinois Law Review 1913–1942 (2022).
Privacy Injunctions, 71 Emory Law Journal 955–983 (2022).
Privacy Harms (with Daniel J. Solove), 102 Boston University Law Review 793 (2022).
Standing and Privacy Harms: A Critique of TransUnion v. Ramirez (with Daniel J. Solove), 101 Boston University Law Review Online 62 (2021).
A New Compact for Sexual Privacy, 62 William & Mary Law Review 1763–1839 (2021).
The Automated Administrative State: A Crisis of Legitimacy (with Ryan Calo), 70 Emory Law Journal 797–846 (2021).
The Internet As a Speech Conversion Machine and Other Myths Confounding Section 230 Reform Efforts (with Mary Anne Franks), 2020 University of Chicago Legal Forum 45 (2020).
Cyber Mobs, Disinformation, and Death Videos: The Internet As It Is (and As It Should Be) (reviewing Nick Drnaso, Sabrina) 118 Michigan Law Review 1073–1093 (2020).
Sexual Privacy, 128 Yale Law Journal 1870–1960 (2019).
Deep Fakes: A Looming Crisis for Privacy, Democracy, and National Security (with Robert Chesney), 107 California Law Review 1753–1819 (2019).
The Roots of Sexual Privacy: Warren and Brandeis & the Privacy of Intimate Life, 42 Columbia Journal of Law & Arts 383–387 (2019).
When Law Frees Us to Speak (with Jonathon Penney), 87 Fordham Law Review 2317–2336 (2019).
Why Sexual Privacy Matters for Trust, 96 Washington University Law Review 1189–1217 (2019).
Four Principles for Digital Expression (You Won’t Believe #3!) (with Neil M. Richards), 95 Washington University Law Review 1353–1388 (2018).
A Poor Mother’s Right to Privacy: A Review (reviewing Khiara M. Bridges, The Poverty of Privacy Rights) 98 Boston University Law Review 1139–1167 (2018).
Extremist Speech, Compelled Conformity, and Censorship Creep, 93 Notre Dame Law Review 1035–1072 (2018).
Risk and Anxiety: A Theory of Data Breach Harms (with Daniel J. Solove), 96 Texas Law Review 737–786 (2018).
The Internet Will Not Break: Denying Bad Samaritans Section 230 Immunity (with Benjamin Wittes), 86 Fordham Law Review 401–424 (2017).
The Privacy Policymaking of State Attorneys General, 92 Notre Dame Law Review 747–816 (2016).
Online Engagement On Equal Terms, 95 Boston University Law Review Annex 97–100 (2015).
Spying Inc., 72 Washington & Lee Law Review 1243–1282 (2015).
Promoting Innovation While Preventing Discrimination: Policy Goals for the Scored Society (with Frank A. Pasquale), 89 Washington Law Review 1413–1424 (2014).
The Scored Society: Due Process for Automated Predictions (with Frank Pasquale), 89 Washington Law Review 1–34 (2014).
Criminalizing Revenge Porn (with Mary Anne Franks), 49 Wake Forest Law Review 345–392 (2014).
A Shattered Looking Glass: The Pitfalls and Potential of the Mosaic Theory of Fourth Amendment Privacy (with David Gray), 14 North Carolina Journal of Law & Technology 381–430 (2013).
Addressing the Harm of Total Surveillance: A Reply to Professor Neil Richards (with David Gray), 126 Harvard Law Review Forum 262–274 (2013).
Fighting Cybercrime After United States v. Jones (with David Gray & Liz Clark Rinehart), 103 Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology 745–802 (2013).
The Right to Quantitative Privacy (with David Gray), 98 Minnesota Law Review 62–144 (2013).
Intermediaries and Hate Speech: Fostering Digital Citizenship for the Information Age (with Helen Norton), 91 Boston University Law Review 1435–1484 (2011).
Network Accountability for the Domestic Intelligence Apparatus (with Frank Pasquale), 62 Hastings Law Journal 1441–1494 (2011).
Fulfilling Government 2.0’s Promise with Robust Privacy Protection, 78 George Washington Law Review 822–845 (2010).
Government Speech 2.0 (with Helen Norton), 87 Denver University Law Review 899–944 (2010).
Mainstreaming Privacy Torts, 98 California Law Review 1805–1852 (2010).
Visionary Pragmatism and the Value of Privacy in the Information Age (with Leslie Meltzer Henry) (reviewing Daniel J. Solove, Understanding Privacy) 108 Michigan Law Review 1107–1126 (2010).
Cyber Civil Rights, 89 Boston University Law Review 61–126 (2009).
Law’s Expressive Value in Combating Cyber Gender Harassment, 108 Michigan Law Review 373–416 (2009).
Open Code Governance, 2008 University of Chicago Legal Forum 355–388 (2008).
Technological Due Process, 85 Washington University Law Review 1249–1314 (2008).

Reports & Datasets

Platform Justice: Content Moderation at an Inflection Point (with Quinta Jurecic), Hoover Institution Aegis Paper Series (2018).
The Privacy Implications of Deep Packet Inspection, Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada Deep Packet Inspection Project (2009).

Op-Eds, Blogs, Shorter Works

This Is the Worst Time for Donald Trump to Return to Twitter (with Hany Farid), Slate (November 20, 2022).
The most disturbing aspect of Vanessa Bryant’s case (with John C.P. Goldberg & Benjamin C. Zipursky), CNN.com (September 15, 2022).
The Case for Trump’s Permanent Ban from Social Media (with Hany Farid), Slate (February 5, 2021).
It’s Time to Kick Trump Off Twitter, Slate (January 6, 2021).
The Latest Tech Hearing Is About Helping Trump on Election Day (with Spencer Overton), Slate (October 28, 2020).
Digital Platforms’ Power Over Speech Should Not Go Unchecked, Knight Foundation Blog (June 16, 2020).
Cyber Civil Rights in the Age of COVID-19 (with Mary Anne Franks), Harvard Law Review Blog (May 14, 2020).
All’s Clear for Deep Fakes: Think Again (with Robert Chesney & Hany Farid), Lawfare (May 11, 2020).
Be very wary of Trump’s health surveillance plans (with Geng Ngarmboonanant), Washington Post (April 16, 2020).
Facebook Takes a Step Forward on Deepfakes—And Stumbles (with Robert Chesney & Quinta Jurecic), Lawfare (January 8, 2020).
The Internet’s “Safe Harbor” Is Not Safe for Kids, Common Sense (September 6, 2019).
Campaigns Must Prepare for Deepfakes: This Is What Their Plan Should Look Like (with Katherine Charlet), Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (September 5, 2019).
About That Pelosi Video: What to Do About ‘Cheapfakes’ in 2020 (with Bobby Chesney & Quinta Jurecic), Lawfare (May 19, 2019).
The Automated Administrative State (with Ryan Calo), Harvard Kennedy School Shorenstein Center The Ethical Machine (April 8, 2019).
Evaluating New York's "Revenge Porn" Law: A Missed Opportunity to Protect Sexual Privacy (with Mary Anne Franks), Harvard Law Review Blog (March 19, 2019).
Deep Fakes and the New Disinformation War (with Robert Chesney), Foreign Affairs (January, 2019).
Disinformation on Steroids: The Threat of Deep Fakes (with Robert Chesney), Council on Foreign Relations (October 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 (April 6, 2018).
Deep Fakes: A Looming Crisis for National Security, Democracy, and Privacy? (with Robert Chesney), Lawfare (February 21, 2018).
The U.S. Has Started Cracking Down on Cyber Harassment, The Atlantic (December 5, 2017).
What to Do about the Emerging Threat of Censorship Creep on the Internet, Cato Institute Policy Analysis No. 828 (November 28, 2017).
What We Learn From Government Speech About Hate (with Helen Norton), Lawfare (August 15, 2017).
The Tyranny of Perfect Surveillance and Other Lessons from The Circle (with Eleanor Citron), The Tyranny of Perfect Surveillance and Other Lessons from The Circle (May 5, 2017).
Five Unexpected Lessons from the Ashley Madison Breach (with Woodrow Hartzog), Ars Technica (December 29, 2016).
Enforce Existing Laws to Combat Online Threats, N.Y. Times Room for Debate (November 16, 2016).
Big Data Should Be Regulated By ‘Technological Due Process', The New York Times Room for Debate (July 29, 2016).
Attorney General Kamala Harris to Help Law Enforcement in Investigating Criminal Invasions of Sexual Privacy, International Association of Chiefs of Police Cyber Center (October 20, 2015).
Parents, Teens, and Technology: Starting the Conversation (with Julia Jean Citron), Forbes (August 19, 2015).
Expand Harassment Laws to Protect Victims of Online Abuse, Al Jazeera America (March 21, 2015).
Regulating Revenge Porn Isn’t Censorship (with Neil M. Richards), Al Jazeera America (February 11, 2015).
The Decision That Could Finally Kill the Revenge Porn Business (with Woodrow Hartzog), The Atlantic (February 3, 2015).
Companies Should Reject Online Threats, The New York Times Room for Debate (December 3, 2014).
Free Speech Does Not Protect Cyber Harassment, Forbes (December 3, 2014).
Open Letter to Jennifer Lawrence, Forbes (October 8, 2014).
On Legal Scholarship (with Robin West), AALS Current Issues in Legal Education (August, 2014).
The Rising Tide of Cyber Hate (with Sally Quinn), 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 (April 17, 2014).
Revenge Porn Should Be A Crime, CNN.com (January 16, 2014).
Revenge Porn: A Pernicious Form of Cyber Gender Harassment, The Baltimore Sun (December 15, 2013).
Sunday Dialogue: Anonymity and Incivility on the Internet, N.Y. Times Sunday Review (November 21, 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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