Marc Rotenberg

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Marc Rotenberg
Marc Rotenberg photo, August 2012.png
BornApril 20, 1960 (1960-04-20) (age 60)
Boston, Massachusetts
EducationHarvard College;
Stanford Law School;
Georgetown Law
OccupationFormer President, Electronic Privacy Information Center; Adjunct Professor of Law, Georgetown Law
Known forPrivacy advocacy, Internet law, chess
RelativesJonathan Rotenberg (brother)

Marc Rotenberg was President and Executive Director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), an independent, public interest research center in Washington, which DC he co-founded in 1994, until April, 2020.[1][2][3] He teaches privacy law at Georgetown Law, litigates open government and privacy cases, studies emerging privacy and civil liberties issues, testifies before Congress, and speaks at judicial conferences. He testified before the 9-11 Commission on "Security and Liberty: Protecting Privacy, Preventing Terrorism." Marc is a guest on Bloomberg TV, CNN, C-SPAN, MSNBC, FoxNews, and National Public Radio, and contributes to Techonomy, The Economist, The New York Times, and USA Today.[4]

About EPIC[edit]

EPIC is involved with wide range of civil liberties, consumer protection, and human rights issues. EPIC has pursued several successful consumer privacy complaints with the US Federal Trade Commission, concerning Uber (collection of location data), Snapchat (faulty privacy technology), WhatsApp (revised privacy policy after acquisition by Facebook), Facebook (changes in user privacy settings), Google (roll-out of Google Buzz), Microsoft (Hailstorm log-in), and Choicepoint (sale of personal information to identity thieves). EPIC has also prevailed in significant Freedom of Information Act cases against the CIA, the DHS, the Dept. of Education, the FBI, the NSA, the ODNI, and the TSA.[5] EPIC has also filed many "friend of the court" briefs on law and technology, including Riley v. California (U.S. 2014)(concerning cell phone privacy), and litigated important privacy cases, including EPIC v. DHS (D.C. Cir. 2011), which led to the removal of the x-ray body scanners in US airports, and EPIC v. NSA (D.C. Cir. 2014), which led to the release of the NSA's formerly secret cybersecurity authority. EPIC also challenged the NSA's domestic surveillance program in a petition to the US Supreme Court, In re EPIC (U.S. 2013), after the release of the "Verizon Order" in June 2013.[6] One of EPIC's current cases concerns the obligation of the Federal Aviation Administration to establish privacy regulations prior to the deployment of commercial drones in the United States. EPIC v. FAA (D.C. Cir. 2016).[7]

Democracy and Cybersecurity[edit]

In 2017, EPIC launched a new project on Democracy and Cybersecurity to determine the extent of Russian interference with the 2016 Presidential election and to prevent future attacks on democratic institutions.[8] EPIC is currently pursuing four Freedom of Information Act lawsuits. In EPIC v. ODNI, EPIC is seeking the public release of the report of the Intelligence Community on the Russian interference with the 2016 election. In EPIC v. FBI, EPIC is seeking records concerning the Bureau's response to an attack by a foreign government on the political institutions of the United States. In EPIC v. IRS, EPIC is seeking the release of Donald Trump's tax returns. In EPIC v. DHS, EPIC is trying to determine the role of DHS in election integrity. At the 2017 EPIC Champion of Freedom Awards Dinner in Washington, DC, EPIC honored former world chess champion, author, and human rights advocate Garry Kasparov [9] UPDATE -- In EPIC v. Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity[10] EPIC successfully blocked the "Kobach Commission" from obtaining state voter data. EPIC charged that the Commission had failed to undertake a privacy impact assessment, required by law. Exactly six months after EPIC filed suit, the Commission was disbanded. The White House is now subject to a court order to delete the voter data that was wrongfully obtained.

Advisory Panels[edit]

Rotenberg has served on many national and international advisory panels, including the expert panels on Cryptography Policy and Computer Security for the OECD, the Legal Experts on Cyberspace Law for UNESCO, and the Countering Spam program of the ITU. He is currently on panels for the National Academies of Sciences (big data and privacy), the OECD (the digital economy), and the Aspen Institute (artificial intelligence). He is a former Chair of the ABA Committee on Privacy and Information Protection and a founding board member and former Chair of the Public Interest Registry, which manages the .ORG domain. He is a member of the International Working Group on Data Protection in Telecommunications[11], the FREE Group (European Area of Freedom Security & Justice),[12] and other organizations dedicated to the protection of civil liberties and fundamental rights.

Support for Civil Society[edit]

Marc has helped establish several organizations that promote public understanding of computer technology and encourage civil society participation in decisions concerning the future of the Internet. These include the Public Interest Computer Association (1983),[13] Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (1985), the conference on Computers, Freedom, and Privacy (1991),[14] the Public Voice Coalition (1996), the Public Interest Registry (2003), the Civil Society Information Society Advisory Council to the OECD (CSISAC) (2009),[15] and the EPIC Public Voice Fund (2018).


Marc Rotenberg is co-author, with Professor Anita L. Allen, of Privacy Law and Society (West Academic 2016),[16] a leading casebook on privacy law, and co-editor of Privacy in the Modern Age: The Search for Solutions (The New Press 2015), a collection of articles on the future of privacy.[17] Other books include The AI Policy Sourcebook (EPIC 2020), The Privacy Law Sourcebook: United States Law, International Law, and Recent Developments (EPIC 2020),[18] Privacy and Human Rights: An International Survey of Privacy Laws and Developments (EPIC 2006), Litigation Under the Federal Open Government Laws (EPIC 2010), Information Privacy Law (Aspen Publishing 2007) and "Privacy and Technology: The New Frontier" (MIT Press 1999). Marc has also published articles and commentaries in legal, technical, and popular journals, including the ACS Supreme Court Review, Communications of the ACM, Computers & Society, CNN, Costco Connect, the Duke Law Journal, the Economist, the European Data Protection Review, The Financial Times, Fortune, the Indiana Law Review, the Harvard Business Review, the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, the Harvard International Review, the Japan Economic Forum, the Minnesota Law Review, Newsweek, Scientific American, the Stanford Technology Law Review, Techonomy, and USA Today, among others.[19]

Education and Honors[edit]

Marc Rotenberg is a graduate of Harvard College and Stanford Law School, and received an LL.M. in International and Comparative Law from Georgetown Law. At Harvard, he was a founding editor of the Harvard International Review and a head teaching fellow in computer science. At Stanford he was an Articles Editor of the Stanford Law Review and President of the Stanford Public Interest Law Foundation. He was also the research assistant to A. Leon Higginbotham Jr., when the Judge and former FTC Commissioner (the first African American appointed as a commissioner on any regulatory commission) was a Visiting Professor at Stanford Law School. He served as Counsel to Senator Patrick J. Leahy on the Senate Judiciary Committee after graduation from law school. He is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a Life Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and the recipient of several awards including the Norbert Wiener Award for Social and Professional Responsibility, the American Lawyer Top Lawyers Under 45, and the Vicennial Medal (2012) for distinguished service from Georgetown University. He was included in the "Lawdragon 500", a listing of the leading lawyers in America, and received the ABA Cyberspace Law Excellence Award, the World Technology Award for Law, and the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology Award for Outstanding Contribution to Law and Technology.


Marc Rotenberg grew up in Boston, Massachusetts. His brother Jonathan Rotenberg founded the Boston Computer Society at age 13. Marc is married to Anna Markopoulos Rotenberg, an ESL teacher in the District of Columbia Public Schools. A tournament chess player, Rotenberg is a three-time Washington, DC Chess Champion (2007, 2008, 2010) and works to promote chess in the DC public schools in cooperation with the US Chess Center and ChessGirlsDC.


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