Tim Brennan speaks at a research forum on campus. Photo by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.

The UMBC Center for Cybersecurity (UCYBR) Presents


“Economics of Law”
Insights into Cybersecurity Policy

Dr. Tim Brennan
Professor Emeritus, UMBC


Tuesday 8 December 2020 from 12-1 pm

Webex, Meeting #: 120 246 4425


Cybersecurity raises questions about who owns data and how best to discourage security breaches.  This talk will offer some unexpected and perhaps controversial perspectives from economics on relevant questions, including: Who presumptively should own data?  What is the purpose of liability law?  Should those who violate data security always be liable, or only if they fail to take appropriate measures to prevent leaks?  Could “the market” solve the problem, e.g., by people choosing where to shop on the basis of data security?  Would regulation be a better means than liability to promote cybersecurity?  Don’t expect answers to these questions; my hope is to stimulate and hopefully inform the discussion.  If time allows, I’ll review some major actions by the Federal Trade Commission, who is the lead national agency policing privacy-related conduct. 


Dr. Tim Brennan is professor emeritus of public policy and economics at UMBC, retiring in July 2020 after thirty years on the UMBC faculty.  He has also been FCC Chief Economist, held the T.D. MacDonald Chair in the Canadian government’s Competition Bureau, and served on the staff of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.  Before UMBC, he was an associate professor of telecommunications and public policy at George Washington University and a staff economist at the US Department of Justice Antitrust Division.  He has over 130 articles and book chapters and books on competition policy, economic regulation, telecommunications and energy policy, intellectual property, and economic methods.  His MA in math and Ph..D. in economics are from the University of Wisconsin.