Anita Ramasastry

Photo of Anita  Ramasastry
Professor of Law
UW Law Foundation Professor of Law
Director, Graduate Program in Sustainable International Development

Phone: (206) 616-8441

  • - Verdict Justicia Have you noticed drones in your neighborhood? One Seattle woman recently found a drone hovering outside of her apartment. (6/26/14)
  • - Justicia As newspaper headlines continue to mention the controversial “cryptocurrency” Bitcoin, new competitors are entering the scene. In the past few months, newcomers PotCoin and DopeCoin have emerged—billing themselves as alternative currencies for the buying and selling of marijuana. Both business ventures have an eye on the growing global marijuana market. So while Bitcoin is meant to be a universal alternative to government-issued money, new competitors are trying to cash in on niche markets. (3/25/14)
  • - KIRO
    Amazon announced the price of their Prime membership will soon increase to $99, just as at least two lawsuits were filed over their Prime pricing practices. The current price of $79 for Prime membership allows a customer to get unlimited free, two-day shipping on eligible items, unlimited streaming of more than 40,000 movies and TV shows and access to more than 500,000 Kindle books.
    In some cases, the same item was advertised at the same price, with the same offer for free, two-day shipping, even though one was through a Prime account and the other was not. Proving there was somehow fraud or deception involved is difficult, according to University of Washington law professor Anita Ramasastry.
    “That’s a hard claim to make, because there are so many different business models and so many ways in which pricing occurs in terms of what the components are that are in there. Yes, you could say shipping shouldn’t be in there, but there are many different kinds of shipping,” Ramasastry said.
  • - Justicia Justia columnist and U.Washington law professor Anita Ramasastry comments on the question whether Bitcoin—a so-called virtual peer-to-peer currency—should be regulated by the U.S. and/or States within it. (Along with the Treasury Department, California and New York are also contemplating possible legal or regulatory measures regarding Bitcoin.) Ramasastry looks at recent attempts to extend legal recognition to Bitcoin, and explains why she believes this is a good thing.  (2/28/14)
  • - Verdict This column discusses the growing phenomenon of data aggregation, and the fact that the large-scale collection of data leads to harmful consequences for consumers when companies keep tabs on us in ways that are unrelated to our ordinary commercial transactions. (1/29/14)
  • - The Bureau of National Affairs Professor Ramasastry comments on Facebook's data use policy and practice of tracking updates and comments users decide not to post. (1/13/14)
  • - Yahoo! Finance Barely noticed by most consumers, Apple’s (AAPL) latest software upgrade for iPhones, iOS 7, included a capability for malls, museums or stadiums to identify visitors and track their movements indoors with a startling degree of accuracy. (1/10/14)
  • - KUOW Anita Ramasastry about the concerns behind using biometric technology in schools, like using fingerprints to identify students (12/11/13)
  • - Verdict Consumers keep sharing and disclosing lots of personal data—each time they shop, surf the Web, subscribe to magazines, or contribute to charities. Mounds of this data are being compiled and combined, creating so-called digital dossiers that outline much about who we are—or, at least, some approximation of who companies think we are, based on our consumer preferences. (12/3/13)
  • - Al Jazeera To combat cyber-bullying, some school districts have begun hiring private firms to monitor students' online activities.  "From a teen's perspective, it could cause further humiliation or embarrassment to know that a principal (and the private firm) now know about some painful event in his or her life. For this very reason, the affirmative and directed snooping on students outside of school might well cross a line," Prof. Ramasastry wrote in September. (12/2/13)

Last updated 5/5/2014