Elizabeth E. Joh

Professor Elizabeth Joh

Position Title
Martin Luther King Jr. Professor of Law

2125 King Hall

Professor Joh is a leading expert on policing, privacy, and technology.  She served as a member of the U.C. Presidential Working Group on Artificial Intelligence (2020-21), and is an elected member of the American Law Institute, a Faculty Advisory Board member of the U.C. Berkeley CITRIS Policy Lab, and an appointed member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine study committee on Facial Recognition: Current Capabilities, Future Prospects, and Governance.  She has spoken on policing and technology issues to audiences including the Justices of the Washington Supreme Court, the Judicial Research Training Institute of the Supreme Court of Korea, and the House of Lords Justice and Home Affairs Committee (U.K.).

Professor Joh’s scholarship has appeared in leading law reviews including the Northwestern University Law Review, the California Law Review and the Stanford Law Review.  Her writing for general audiences has appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Slate, Politico, and the New York Review of Books.  She is the co-host of What Roman Mars Can Learn About Con Law, a popular podcast about constitutional law and current events.

Education and Degree(s)
  • B.A. Yale University
  • J.D. New York University School of Law
  • Ph.D. Law and Society, New York University
Honors and Awards
  • 2017 Distinguished Teaching Award
  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Stephen Reinhardt, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Research Interests & Expertise
  • Criminal Law And Procedure
  • Constitutional Law
  • Policing
  • Surveillance



Dobbs Online: Digital Rights as Abortion Rights, in Feminist Cyberlaw (forthcoming 2023).

Fourth Amendment Rights as Abortion Rights, __ N.Y.U. L. Forum __ (2022).

The Unexpected Consequences of Automation in Policing, __ SMU L. Rev. __ (2022).

Ethical AI in American Policing, 3 Notre Dame J. Emerging Tech. 1 (2022).

Reckless Automation in Policing, Berkeley Tech. L. J. 116 (2022).

Networked Self-Defense and Monetized Vigilantism: Private Surveillance Systems, 43 Archives de Politique Criminelle 195 (2021) DOI : 10.3917/apc.043.0195

A Gig Surveillance Economy, Hoover Institution Aegis Series Paper No. 2108 (Nov. 2021).

The Harms of Police Surveillance Technology Monopolies, Denver L. Rev. Forum 1 (2021)(with Thomas Joo).

Policing, Race, & Technology, 2021 Univ. Ill. Law. Rev. Online: Biden 100 Days 84 (2021).

COVID-19 Sewage Testing as a Police Surveillance Infrastructure,  2 Notre Dame J. Emerging Technologies 233 (2021).

Increasing Automation in Policing, Communications of the ACM (Jan. 2020).

The Consequences of Automating and Deskilling the Police, 67 UCLA L. Rev. Disc. 134 (2019).

Automated Seizures: Police Stops of Self-Driving Cars, N.Y.U. L. Rev. Online (2019).

Artificial Intelligence and Policing: Hints in the Carpenter Decision, Ohio St. J. Cri L. _ (2019).

Policing Smart Cities, International Journal of Law in Context (2019)

Policing and Artificial Intelligence: Opening questions, 41 Seattle U. L. Rev. 1139 (2018).

Automated Policing, 15 Ohio State L. J. 559 (2018).

Private Security Robots, Artificial Intelligence, and Deadly Force, 51 U.C. DAVIS L. R 569 (2017).

Feeding the Machine: Policing, Crime Data, & Algorithms, 26 William & Mary Bill of Rights J. 287 (2017).

The Undue Influence of Surveillance Technology Vendors on Policing, 92 N.Y.U. L. REV. ONLINE 101 (2017).

Policing Police Robots, 64 U.C.L.A. L. Rev. Discourse 517 (2016).

Beyond Surveillance: Data Control and Police Body Cameras, 14 Surveillance & Society 133 (2016). 

Surveillance Discretion: Automated Suspicion, Big Data, and Policing, 10 Harvard L. & Pol’y Rev. 15 ( 2016).

The Myth of Arrestee DNA Expungement, 164 U. Pa. L. Rev. Online 51 (2015).

The Corporation as Snitch: The New DOJ Guidelines on Prosecuting White Collar Crime (with Thomas Joo), 101 Va. L. Rev. Online 51 (2015).

Sting Victims: Third Party Harms in Undercover Police Operations (with Thomas Joo), 88 S. Cal. L. Rev. 1309 (2015).

Bait, Mask & Ruse: Technology and Police Deception 128 Harv. L. Rev. F. 246 (2015).

Should Arrestee DNA Databases Extend to Misdemeanors? 8 J. Recent Advances DNA & Gene Sequences 1 (2015).

Policing by Numbers: Big Data and the Fourth Amendment, 89 Wash. L. Rev. 35 (2014) (symposium).

Maryland v. King: Policing and Genetic Privacy (Term Paper Series), 11 Ohio St. J. Crim. L. ­­281 (2013).

Privacy Protests: Surveillance Evasion and Fourth Amendment Suspicion, 55 Ariz. L. Rev. 997 (2013).

DNA Theft: Recognizing the Crime of Nonconsensual Genetic Collection and Analysis, 91 Boston Univ. L. Rev. 665 (2011).

Breaking the Law to Enforce It: Undercover Police Participation in Crime, 62 Stan. L. Rev. 155 (2009).

Imagining the Addict: Evaluating Social and Legal Responses to Addiction, 2009 Utah L. Rev. ­­175 (2009) (Drugs: Addiction, Therapy, and Crime symposium).

Discretionless Policing: Technology and the Fourth Amendment, 95 Cal. L. Rev. 199 (2007).

The Forgotten Threat: Private Police and the State (symposium), 13 Ind. J. Global L. Stud. 357 (2006).

Reclaiming “Abandoned” DNA: The Fourth Amendment and Genetic Privacy, 100 Nw. Univ. L. Rev. 2 (2006).

Conceptualizing the Private Police, 2005 Utah L. Rev. 573 (2005).

The Paradox of Private Policing, 95 J. Crim. L. & Criminol. 49 (2004).

Custom, Tribal Court Practice, and Popular Justice, 25 Am. Indian L. Rev. 117 (2001).

Narrating Pain: The Problem With Victim Impact Statements, 10 S. Cal. Interdisc. L. J. 17 (2000).

"If It Suffices to Accuse": United States v. Watts and the Reassessment of Acquittals, 74 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 887 (1999).

Tremors on the Racial Fault Line? The Black Church Fires of 1996 (James B. Jacobs, co-author), 34 Crim. L. Bulletin 497 (1998).

Shorter Works

The Potential Overturn of Roe Shows Why We Need More Digital Privacy Protections, Slate  (May 9, 2021).

The Corporate Shadow In Democratic Policing, 374 Science 274 (Oct. 2021).

Yes, States and Local Governments Can Close Private Businesses and Restrict Your Movement, Politico (Mar. 18, 2020).

Increasing Automation in Policing, Communications of the ACM (Jan. 2020).

An Anti-Democratic Mix of Secrecy, Unaccountability, Technology, and Surveillance  (reviewing Andrea Roth, “Spit and Acquit”: Prosecutors as Surveillance Entrepreneurs”), Jotwell (Oct. 8, 2019).

The Rise of Networked Vigilante Surveillance, Slate (Sept. 24, 2019).

Want to See My Genes? Get a Warrant, New York Times (June 11, 2019).

A Consumer DNA Testing Company is Making an Alarming New Marketing Pivot, Slate (Mar. 29, 2019).

Police Surveillance Machines: A Short History, Law and Political Economy (June 13, 2018).

Arrests, Guilt, and the Difference Between the Two, Jotwell (June 18, 2018).

Year One: Stress Testing the Constitution, New York Review of Books, Nov. 15, 2017.

Free Police Body Cameras Come With a Price, Slate , April 5, 2017.

Wrongful Arrest by Software, Slate , Dec. 13, 2016.

Five Lessons from the Rise of Bodycams, Slate , Nov. 28, 2016.

Should the President be able to block you on Twitter?, Room for Debate, New York Times , Nov. 21, 2016.

Assault With a Deadly Tweet? Slate , Oct. 12, 2016.

Police robots need to be regulated to avoid potential risks, Room for Debate, N.Y. Times, July 14, 2016.

Outcome of FBI fight with Apple will affect your privacy, Sacramento Bee, March 4, 2016.

The Government Shouldn’t Distribute Child Pornography. Period. N.Y. Times Room for Debate, Jan. 27, 2016.

Your Genetic Privacy at Stake (regarding People v. Buza)(op-ed), Daily Journal , March 4, 2015.

Review Essay: Jammed Up: Bad Cops, Police Misconduct, and the New York City Police Department (2013) in ­­ 17 Punishment & Soc’y ­262 (2015).

What’s a “normal” amount of law enforcement?, The Life of the Law , Jan. 16, 2015.

When police moonlight in their uniforms (op-ed), L.A. Times , Oct. 13, 2014.

Influential but Uninformed: What SCOTUS Knows About Policing (reviewing Seth W. Stoughton, Policing Facts, 88 Tulane L. Rev. 847 (2014)) jotwell.com, Oct. 1, 2014.

Forget Internet Security, How Do I Protect My Genetic Privacy?, The Life of the Law , May 5, 2014.

From Anti-Drone Burqas To Face Cages: What Artists Are Showing Us About Surveillance and the Law, The Life of the Law , April 2, 2014.

Will Big Data Change How Police Do Their Job?, The Life of the Law , Nov. 6, 2013.

Maryland v. King: Three concerns about policing and genetic information, Genomics Law Report , Sept. 19, 2013.

When the Government (Accidentally)Helps Criminal Markets (reviewing David Michael Jaros, Perfecting Criminal Markets, 112 Colum. L. Rev. 19247 (2012)) jotwell.com, Sept. 8, 2013.

Review Essay, Police Discretion? It’s the Department, Stupid. (reviewing Nirej Sekhon, Redistributive Policing, 101 J. Crim. L & Criminol. 1171 (2012)), jotwell.com May 11, 2012.

DNA Theft: Your Genetic Information at Risk, 12 Nature Reviews Genetics , Oct. 25, 2011.

Review Essay, Can Fiscal Crises Change our Incarceration Problem? Maybe. (reviewing Mary D. Fan, Beyond Budget-Cut Criminal Justice, 90 N.C. L. Rev. __ (2011)), Oct. 25, 2011.

The Grim Sleeper and DNA: There’s much to be concerned about (op-ed), L.A. Times , July 10, 2010.

Review Essay, The Return of Banishment: Punishment and Policing (reviewing Katherine Beckett and Steve Herbert, Penal Boundaries: Banishment and the Expansion of Punishment, 35 Law and Social Inquiry 1 (2010)), May 24, 2010.

The ethics of DNA databasing (guest commentary), Economist.com , Mar. 20, 2009

Katz v. United States, Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court (David S. Tanenhaus, ed., 2008).

Review Essay, The Politics of Punishment, 10 Punishment & Society 479 (2008).

Your Shed DNA: Up for Grabs?, Insights on Law and Society , American Bar Association (Fall 2007).

Policing Without the Police (invited submission), 34 Search & Seizure L. Rep. 57 (2007).

Private Policing, The Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties (Routledge 2006).

Private Policing: An Interpretive Guide, 33 Search & Seizure L. Rep. 25 (2006).

Private Policing: Unknown and Under-Regulated, 32 Search & Seizure L. Rep. 33 (2005).