Kevin Werbach

Kevin Werbach
  • Professor of Legal Studies & Business Ethics

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    673 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
    3730 Walnut Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

Research Interests: Internet policy, telecommunications, blockchain, gamification, business analytics

Links: CV, Personal Website, Kevin Werbach (@kwerb) on Twitter

Overview

Education

JD, Harvard University, 1994; BA, University of California at Berkeley, 1991

Recent Consulting

Central Intelligence Agency (2019). Training program on blockchain technology and applications.

World Bank (2014-15). Advising on use of gamification in massive open online courses.

Marriott and Franklin Covey (2014). Developing gamification system for employee motivation.

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (2013). Analysis of the future of broadband networks.

Academic Positions Held

Wharton: 2004-present

Other Positions

FCC Agency Review Co-Lead, Obama-Biden Transition Project (2008); Founder, Supernova Group, 2002-present; Editor, Release 1.0, 1998-2002; Counsel for New Technology Policy, Federal Communications Commission, 1994-1998

Professional Leadership 2014-2019

Fellow, Global Institute for Communications (GLOCOM), 2002-present; Editorial Board, Info: The Journal of Policy, Regulation and Strategy for Telecommunications, Information and Media, 2010-present; International Editorial Board, Ohio State Technology Law Journal, 2006-present; Editorial Board, Journal of Information Policy, 2010-present; Faculty Affiliate, Penn Center for Technology, Innovation, and Competition, 2010-present; Faculty Affiliate, Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative, 2013-present; Faculty Affiliate, Warren Center for Network and Data Sciences (2013-present); Fellow, Columbia University Institute of Tele-Information (2016-present)

Corporate and Public Sector Leadership 2014-2019

Director and Treasurer, Public Knowledge, 2011-present; Advisory Council, Institute for the Future, 2012-present

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Research

  • Regulation of emerging digital platforms and services
  • Ethical and legal implications of business analytics
  • Legal, regulatory, and governance aspects of blockchain and cryptocurrencies

Teaching

Current Courses

  • LGST242 - Big Data, Big Resp.

    Significant technologies always have unintended consequences, and their effects are never neutral. A World of ubiquitous data, subject toee ver more sophisticated collection, aggregation, and analysiis, creates massive opportunities for both financial gain and social good. It also creates dangers in areas such as privacy, security, discrimination, exploitation, and inquiality, as well as simple hubris about the effectiveness of management by algorithm. Firms that anticipate thte risks of these new practices will be best positioned to avoid missteps. This course introduces students to the legal, policy, and ethical dimensions of big data, predictive analtyics, and related techniques. It then examines responses-both private and gover nmental-that may be employed to address these concerns.

    LGST242001 ( Syllabus )

  • LGST244 - Blockchain/cryptocurrenc

    Blockchain techonology is a form of decentralized database that allows for the secure exchange of value without reliance on trusted intermediaries. Blockchain is the foundation for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, as well as for distributed ledger platforms used by enterprise consortia in various industries. Many believe that blockchain solutions have revolutionary potential. They promise to replace legal enforcement with technical mechanisms of cryptographic consensus as the means of generating trust. The technology has generated significant excitement, investment, and entrepreneurial activity in recent years. However, the business value of blockchain-based solutions is uncertain, cryptocurrency valuations are speculative, and there are serious legal, regulatory, and governance challenges to be addressed. This course is designed to give students the tools for critical assessment of ongoing developments in this evolving area.

    LGST244401 ( Syllabus )

  • LGST642 - Big Data, Big Resp.

    Significant technologies always have unintended consequences, and their effects are never neutral. A world of ubiquitous data, subject to ever more sophisticated collection, aggregation, and analysis, creates massive opportunities for both financial gain and social good. It also creates dangers in areas such as privacy, security, discrimination, exploitation, and inequality, as well as simple hubris about the effectiveness of management by algorithm. Firms that anticipate the risks of these new practices will be best positioned to avoid missteps. This course introduces students to the legal, policy, and ethical dimensions of big data, predictive analytics, and related techniques. It then examines responses-both private and governmental-that may be employed to address these concerns.

    LGST642001 ( Syllabus )

  • LGST644 - Blockchain/cryptocurrenc

    Blockchain technology is a form of decentralized database that allows for the secure exchange of value without reliance on trusted intermediaries. Blockchain is the foundation for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, as well as for distributed ledger platforms used by enterprise consortia in various industries. Many believe that blockchain solutions have revolutionary potential. They promise to replace legal enforcement with technical mechanisms of cryptographic consensus as the means of generating trust. The technology has generated significant excitement, investment, and entrepreneurial activity in recent years. However, the business value of blockchain-based solutions is uncertain, cryptocurrency valuations are speculative, and there are serious legal, regulatory, and governance challenges to be addressed. This course is designed to give students the tools for critical assessment of ongoing developments in this evolving area.

    LGST644401 ( Syllabus )

Past Courses

  • EAS 499 - SENIOR CAPSTONE

    The Senior Capstone Project is required for all BAS degree students, in lieu of the senior design course. The Capstone Project provides an opportunity for the student to apply the theoretical ideas and tools learned from other courses. The project is usually applied, rather than theoretical, exercise, and should focus on a real world problem related to the career goals of the student. The one-semester project may be completed in either the fall or sprong term of the senior year, and must be done under the supervision of a sponsoring faculty member. To register for this course, the student must submit a detailed proposal, signed by the supervising professor, and the student's faculty advisor, to the Office of Academic Programs two weeks prior to the start of the term.

  • LGST101 - LAW AND SOCIAL VALUES

    This course presents law as an evolving social institution, with special emphasis on the legal regulation of business in the context of social values. It considers basic concepts of law and legal process, in the U.S. and other legal systems, and introduces the fundamentals of rigorous legal analysis. An in-depth examination of contract law is included.

  • LGST222 - INTERNET LAW PRIV CYBER

    This course looks at how courts, legislatures, and regulators confront the major issues of the internet world. Billions of people are now active on social media, and firms such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Alibaba are among the worlds most valuable and influential. The legal interfaces between the physical world and the digital world are therefore increasingly important. In particular, exploitation of personal information online by governments, digital platforms, and bad actors is becoming a constant source of major controversies. The material in the course ranges from the foundations of cyberlaw, developed during the e-commerce bubble of the 1990s, to current leading-edge questions around the power and responsibility of digital intermediaries; data protection in the U.S. and Europe; cybercrime;blockchain; and network neutrality. No pre-existing legal or technical knowledge is required.

  • LGST242 - BIG DATA, BIG RESP.

    Significant technologies always have unintended consequences, and their effects are never neutral. A World of ubiquitous data, subject toee ver more sophisticated collection, aggregation, and analysiis, creates massive opportunities for both financial gain and social good. It also creates dangers in areas such as privacy, security, discrimination, exploitation, and inquiality, as well as simple hubris about the effectiveness of management by algorithm. Firms that anticipate thte risks of these new practices will be best positioned to avoid missteps. This course introduces students to the legal, policy, and ethical dimensions of big data, predictive analtyics, and related techniques. It then examines responses-both private and gover nmental-that may be employed to address these concerns.

  • LGST244 - BLOCKCHAIN/CRYPTOCURRENC

    Blockchain techonology is a form of decentralized database that allows for the secure exchange of value without reliance on trusted intermediaries. Blockchain is the foundation for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, as well as for distributed ledger platforms used by enterprise consortia in various industries. Many believe that blockchain solutions have revolutionary potential. They promise to replace legal enforcement with technical mechanisms of cryptographic consensus as the means of generating trust. The technology has generated significant excitement, investment, and entrepreneurial activity in recent years. However, the business value of blockchain-based solutions is uncertain, cryptocurrency valuations are speculative, and there are serious legal, regulatory, and governance challenges to be addressed. This course is designed to give students the tools for critical assessment of ongoing developments in this evolving area.

  • LGST299 - SEMINAR IN LAW & SOCIETY

    A study of the nature, functions, and limits of law as an agency of societal policy. Each semester an area of substantive law is studied for the purpose of examining the relationship between legal norms developed and developing in the area and societal problems and needs.

  • LGST612 - RESPONSIBILITY IN BUS.

    This course introduces students to important ethical and legal challenges they will face as leaders in business. The course materials will be useful to students preparing for managerial positions that are likely to place them in advisory and/or agency roles owing duties to employers, clients, suppliers, and customers. Although coverage will vary depending on instructor, the focus of the course will be on developing skills in ethical and legal analyses that can assist managers as they make both individual-level and firm-level decisions about the responsible courses of action when duties, loyalties, rules, norms, and interests are in conflict. For example, the rules of insider trading may form the basis for lessons in some sections. Group assignments, role-plays, and case studies may, at the instructor's discretion, be used to help illustrate the basic theoretical frameworks. Course materials will highlight industry codes and professional norms, as well as the importance of personal and/or religious values. Format: class participation, quiz, group report, and final paper or exam. Materials: coursepack. Prerequisites: none.

  • LGST642 - BIG DATA, BIG RESP.

    Significant technologies always have unintended consequences, and their effects are never neutral. A world of ubiquitous data, subject to ever more sophisticated collection, aggregation, and analysis, creates massive opportunities for both financial gain and social good. It also creates dangers in areas such as privacy, security, discrimination, exploitation, and inequality, as well as simple hubris about the effectiveness of management by algorithm. Firms that anticipate the risks of these new practices will be best positioned to avoid missteps. This course introduces students to the legal, policy, and ethical dimensions of big data, predictive analytics, and related techniques. It then examines responses-both private and governmental-that may be employed to address these concerns.

  • LGST644 - BLOCKCHAIN/CRYPTOCURRENC

    Blockchain technology is a form of decentralized database that allows for the secure exchange of value without reliance on trusted intermediaries. Blockchain is the foundation for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, as well as for distributed ledger platforms used by enterprise consortia in various industries. Many believe that blockchain solutions have revolutionary potential. They promise to replace legal enforcement with technical mechanisms of cryptographic consensus as the means of generating trust. The technology has generated significant excitement, investment, and entrepreneurial activity in recent years. However, the business value of blockchain-based solutions is uncertain, cryptocurrency valuations are speculative, and there are serious legal, regulatory, and governance challenges to be addressed. This course is designed to give students the tools for critical assessment of ongoing developments in this evolving area.

  • LGST799 - SEMINAR IN LAW & SOCIETY

    A study of the nature, functions, and limits of law as an agency of societal policy. Each semester an area of substantive law is studied for the purpose of examining the relationship between legal norms developed and developing in the area and societal problems and needs.

  • OIDD222 - INTERNET LAW PRIV CYBER

    The Internet has become central to business and daily life. This course looks at how courts, legislatures, and regulators confront the major legal issues that the Internet poses. The fundamental challenge is that law comes from governments and other institutions in specific places, but the Internet is global and virtual. Conflicts such as the shutdown of the Napster peer-to-peer file-sharing service and the debate over "network neutrality" regulations for broadband access illustrate the challenge. How does the legal system think about Google, Skype, Twitter, and Facebook? How should it?

Awards and Honors

In the News

Knowledge @ Wharton

Activity

Latest Research

Kevin Werbach, Martin Weiss, Douglas Sicker, Carlos Caicedo (2019), On the Application of Blockchains to Spectrum Management, IEEE Transactions on Cognitive Communications and Networking.
All Research

In the News

What’s Next for the Digital Living Room?

Fueled by a leap in broadband adoption and the advent of mobile devices, the digital living room is no longer a TV-centric area in the home. But it also still isn’t the unified and open ecosystem consumers want.

Knowledge @ Wharton - 2019/09/16
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