Cybersecurity Expert David Thaw to Join Pitt Law Faculty


The University of Pittsburgh School of Law has hired Assistant Professor David Thaw, a law and technology expert and frequent presenter on issues of cybersecurity, privacy regulation, and cybercrime. In addition to his position at Pitt Law, he will hold a secondary faculty appointment at the School of Information Sciences (SIS), further leveraging the interdisciplinary offerings of both schools. Thaw is currently an affiliated fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School and a visiting assistant professor at the University of Connecticut School of Law. Thaw will assume his position at Pitt on July 1, 2014.

David Thaw

“Professor Thaw’s teaching and scholarship at the intersection of law and technology, particularly with regard to privacy, information security, and cybercrime, is highly regarded and will further enhance our already-strong intellectual property program and Innovation Practice Institute,” said Pitt Law Dean William M. Carter Jr. “The fields of privacy and information security are growing areas of legal practice and employment, and Professor Thaw’s presence will therefore provide tremendous benefits for our students.

“They are also areas of strong regional excellence, as evidenced most recently by U.S. Attorney David Hickton’s announcement in May 2013 of the Pittsburgh Cyber Security Initiative, which will be a public-private collaboration to fuse regional resources to address these pressing issues. We are delighted to have Professor Thaw join us.”

Ronald Larsen, SIS dean and professor, agrees. “We have followed David’s academic trajectory now for a couple of years and have been consistently impressed with his scholarly insights and rigorous analysis of extraordinarily complex legal issues involving information systems. We are thrilled to welcome him to the Pitt faculty.”

Thaw earned his JD at the University of California (UC), Berkeley, School of Law. He holds a PhD in information management and systems and an MA in political science, both from UC Berkeley. He earned undergraduate degrees in government and computer science at the University of Maryland, College Park. Professor Thaw practiced cybersecurity and privacy regulatory law at what was then Hogan & Hartson in Washington, D.C., was a research associate with the University of Maryland computer science faculty and Maryland Cybersecurity Center, and is a technology entrepreneur. Thaw has taught courses in the areas of cybersecurity, privacy, and administrative law while at the University of Connecticut.

In addition to testifying before the U.S. House of Representatives regarding his work in cybersecurity regulation, Thaw has conducted in-depth interviews with chief privacy and information security officers at major U.S. firms as part of a research project. His current projects examine the efficacy of cybersecurity regulation and reform of cybercrime statutes. Thaw has authored numerous articles in publications such as the Washington Law Review, Duke Law & Technology Review, Georgia State University Law Review, and Yale Law Journal Online.

“I am absolutely delighted to be joining the University of Pittsburgh,” said Thaw. “There are very few universities in the world that could put together the research and teaching opportunities Pitt Law and the School of Information Sciences have developed. This collaboration will allow Pitt students to receive training available in very few places and both schools to collaborate on answers to important law, policy, and technological questions that have worldwide impact.”


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