November 30th, 2022


Dear Readers,

It is a privilege to present to you Issue One of Volume Twenty-Nine of the Richmond Journal of Law and Technology. This issue includes four articles, each discussing a timely topic at the intersection of law and technology.

The first article is written by Mason Storm, a third-year law student at the University of Richmond School of Law. Mr. Storm’s article urges legislators to act to reform products liability law to accommodate the new legal needs of a data driven world. Mr. Storm’s article was recognized as the best article in the 2022 McNeil Writing Competition, an internal competition at the University of Richmond School of Law judged by alumni and distinguished members of Virginia’s legal community.

The second article is written by Professor Jordan Blanke, Professor of Computer Science and Law at the Stetson-Hatcher School of Business at Mercer University in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Blanke’s article discusses the broad protection under the California Consumer Privacy Act for “inferences drawn” within its definition of “personal information.” The newly introduced American Data Privacy Protection Act would not provide nearly the same protection but would preempt almost all of the California law. Dr. Blanke argues that either the federal bill be amended to include similar protection for “inferences drawn” or the bill should be opposed.

Our third article is authored by Riana Pfefferkorn. Ms. Pfefferkorn is a Research Scholar at the Stanford Internet Observatory and teaches cybersecurity law at Stanford. A former litigator, she holds a J.D. from the University of Washington School of Law. Ms. Pfefferkorn’s article reviews recent cases involving the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a federal anti-hacking law, following a 2021 Supreme Court case that narrowed the law’s scope. The article then proposes amending the statute to make it more difficult for plaintiffs to invoke its civil cause of action, with the goal of protecting socially beneficial cybersecurity research from retaliatory litigation.

Our final article is by Ryan Garippo. Mr. Garippo’s article analyzes defamation law and its application to online chess platforms that accuse players of cheating. Mr. Garippo argues that online chess platforms should publicly commit to adopting an “independent evidence” requirement before accusing a player of cheating. Mr. Garippo received his law degree from Notre Dame Law School in 2022. He is now an associate attorney, practicing in litigation & dispute resolution, in Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Garippo is also a keen chess player.

I would like to thank these four talented authors for collaborating with JOLT to present their brilliant scholarship to the academic community. I would also like to personally thank our fantastic staff and editorial board, especially our Executive Editor, Michaela Fuller, along with our articles team, led by Senior Articles Editor, Brian Kennedy. I am grateful for our copy editors, Sophie Thornton and Troy Fowler, who have worked diligently to showcase the absolute best of each author’s work. Finally, I must thank Professor Jim Gibson and Professor Chris Cotropia for their continuing support and guidance as this journal competes its second decade of publishing.

On behalf of Volume Twenty-Nine of JOLT and all of our authors, we thank our readers for joining us as we proudly present this issue. I hope that you enjoy reading and will follow along as we present another fascinating selection of articles in the new year.



Annalisa Gobin


Richmond Journal of Law and Technology, Volume XXIX



When the Consumer Becomes the Product: Utilizing Products Liability Principles to Protect Consumers from Data Breaches

by Mason Storm

The CCPA, “Inferences Drawn,” and Federal Preemption

by Jordan M. Blanke

Shooting the Messenger: Remediation of Disclosed Vulnerabilities as CFAA “Loss”

by Riana Pfefferkorn

Trial by Centipawns: A Comprehensive Analysis of Defamation Actions in Online Chess & The Probative Value of Statistical Evidence in Civil Trials

by Ryan Thomas Garippo