The Center for Law, Health and Society represents the culmination of research, educational and community outreach initiatives developed in the health law field at Georgia State University. For more information about the center, visit clhs.law.gsu.edu.


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Prof. Lytton Quoted in the LA Times on Privacy Concerns Behind Apple’s Refusal to Hack Into iPhone of San Bernardino Shooter

lytton finalSince December’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, federal investigators have been pressuring Apple to write a code that would hack the iPhone that belonged to one of the deceased shooters. The government has an interest in unlocking the phone’s passcode, believing there to be possible intelligence of ISIS or clues to finding additional terrorists. The concern for privacy rights and autonomy has fueled the argument against Apple creating the hack code, however. As Ted Olsen, Apple’s attorney, argues, demanding the company to recreate a code, effectively “changing” its product, surpasses the line and opens the door to invading in others’ privacy.

The Los Angeles Times quoted Professor Timothy Lytton in its Feb. 23 article “Car Makers Had to Install Air Bags; Shouldn’t Apple Have to Hack Its iPhone?”  Professor Lytton explained that “Apple is arguing that the cellphone is a private space and that the user’s privacy would be infringed.” He furthered argued that “[t]he government is asking for a modification of a product that implicates an important right. Your phone is a private sphere of substance, just like your bedroom.”

Timothy D. Lytton is a Distinguished University Professor and Professor of Law at Georgia State University College of Law and a member of the Center for Law, Health & Society.  His expertise is in the public policy implications of tort litigation. Lytton is the editor of Suing the Gun Industry: A Battle at the Crossroads of Gun Control and Mass Torts (2005).

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Prof. Lytton quoted on California ballot initiative in wake of San Bernadino massacre

lytton finalOn December 2, 14 county health department employees were killed and 21 were injured when co-worker Siyed Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik opened fire at a government social services center in San Bernardino, California, in what is now being considered a terrorist attack and is the largest act of gun violence since the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut three years ago. The suspects, who later died in a shootout with law enforcement, were armed with assault rifles semi-automatic handguns and 1600 rounds of ammunition. An investigation of their home found an arsenal of weapons. Recently a ballot initiative was introduced in California to require background checks and permits to purchase ammunition, similar to gun sales. In the article “California ballot initiative aims to make it harder to acquire ammunition,” for The Guardian, Professor Timothy Lytton discusses the potential hurtles that may need to be overcome for this ballot initiative to be successful.

Timothy D. Lytton is a Distinguished University Professor and Professor of Law at Georgia State University College of Law and a member of the Center for Law, Health & Society.  His expertise is in the public policy implications of tort litigation. Lytton is the editor of Suing the Gun Industry: A Battle at the Crossroads of Gun Control and Mass Torts (2005).