Anita LaFrance Allen

University of Pennsylvania Law School/University of Pennsylvania
Humanities and Arts
Philosophy and Religious Studies
Member Since

Allen is a lawyer and a philosopher, a scholar and an administrator, and a contributor to both academic and popular discourse on matters of the utmost importance to political and social life, involving contemporary medicine, race relations, and feminism. Known especially for her work on privacy and data protection, she has argued both for the need to balance the interests relating to privacy with the importance of accountability, Why Privacy Isn't Everything: Feminist Reflections on Personal Accountability (2003) and for the need to protect certain foundational domains of privacy even when those whose privacy it issue may not care about it, Unpopular Privacy: What Must We Hide (2011). Allen, who is a graduate in Philosophy, Classics and Literature of New College, is also a graduate of Harvard Law School and received her Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Michigan.  She was the first African American woman to serve as a President of the American Philosophical Association and the first to hold both a PhD in philosophy and a law degree. She was an Associate Attorney with Cravath, Swaine & Moore.  At Penn she is the Vice Provost for Faculty and the Henry R. Silverman Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2019 and the National Academy of Medicine in 2016. She is a member of the American Law Institute. In 2010 she was appointed by President Obama to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. Her books include the aforementioned Unpopular Privacy: What Must We Hide (Oxford, 2011); The New Ethics: A Guided Tour of the 21st Century Moral Landscape (Miramax/Hyperion, 2004); Why Privacy Isn’t Everything: Feminist Reflections on Personal Accountability (Rowman and Littlefield, 2003); and Uneasy Access: Privacy for Women in a Free Society (Rowman and Littlefield, 1988), the first monograph on privacy written by an American philosopher. Her textbooks include: Privacy Law and Society (Thomson/West, 2016, with Marc Rotenberg), a comprehensive textbook on the US law of privacy and data protection, with chapters on common law, constitutional law, federal statutory law, surveillance law and international standards.  Allen, who has published more than a hundred scholarly articles, book chapters and essays, has also contributed to popular magazines, newspapers and blogs, and has frequently appeared on nationally broadcast television and radio programs. Allen is active as a member of editorial, advisory, and non-profit boards, and in professional organizations relating to her expertise in law, philosophy, education and health care. She is currently on the Board of Directors of the Electronic Privacy Information Center and has received its Lifetime Achievement Award. She is slated to receive an honorary doctorate in November 2019 from Tilburg University in the Netherlands. Allen, whose parents were from Atlanta, is married to Paul Castellitto and they have two adult children.



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