Prof. Michael Birnhack

Phone: 03-6406623
מינקהוף משפ, 329


Michael Birnhack is a Professor of Law. He researches, teaches and writes about intellectual property, privacy law, information law, and law and technology.


Birnhack’s IP-related research focuses on the intersection between copyright law and freedom of expression, IP and globalization, and copyright history. He was a member of TAU’s Patent, Copyright and Internet committees.


In the privacy field, Michael served as a member of the Israeli Public Council for the Protection of Privacy (2004-2009); advised the European Commission on the Israeli data protection regime (2007, 2008); and was a member of the Schofmann Committee on Data Protection (2005-2007).


Michael served as Chief Editor of Tel Aviv University Law Review (Vol. 33 - 34); a member of the board of the Association of Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) (Sep. 2009 - August 2010); co-director of Computers & Ethics at the Mishkenot Sha’ananim Ethics Center in Jerusalem, and a founding member of the Association for Strengthening ethics in journalism.


He earned his LL.B. degree at Tel Aviv University (’96), his LL.M. (’98) and J.S.D. (’00) at NYU School of Law. Prior to joining Tel Aviv University, he was a faculty member at the University of Haifa (2000-2007) and co-director of the Haifa Center of Law & Technology.


Research Projects:

1. Privacy, Biometrics and the Human Body (PMO and MoD Grant, with Dr. Yofi Tirosh)

2. ISF 1116/12 Privacy by Design: Identifying Gaps and Overcoming Barriers In the Intersection of Law and Engineering (with Eran Toch and Irit Hadar)

3. MOST: Data Leakage in Social Networks (with Bracha Shapira, Yuval Elovici, Lior Rokach, David Schwartz, Inbal Yahav)


Research Interests and Teaching

1.      Privacy law

2.      Intellectual property, especially copyright law

3.      Law & Information Technology



2000     J.S.D., New York University, School of Law
1998     LL.M., New York University, School of Law
1996     LL.B., Tel Aviv University, Faculty of Law


Academic Appointments

Tel Aviv University, Faculty of Law 
2014-  Full Professor
2010 - 2014 Associate Professor
2007 - 2010
Senior Lecturer (with tenure)
University of Haifa, Faculty of Law
2004 - 2007
Senior Lecturer (with tenure)
2000 - 2004
George Washington University Law School, Washington DC
Fall 2002
Visiting Associate Professor
Melbourne University, Faculty of Law, Melbourne, Australia
Summer 2004
Senior Fellow
UCLA School of Law
January 2012 Visiting Professor


Full CV 

Representative Publications

Colonial Copyright: Intellectual Property in Mandate Palestine (Oxford University Press, 2012) 336 pp


Private Space: The Right to Privacy, Law and Technology (Bar Ilan University Press & Nevo Press, 2010) pp. 543 [Hebrew]


Michael Birnhack & Niva Elkin-Koren, The Invisible Handshake: The Reemergence of the State in the Digital Environment, 8 Virginia Journal of Law & Technology 6 (2003)


Michael Birnhack, The EU Data Protection Directive: An Engine of a Global Regime, 24(6) Computer Law & Security Report 508-520 (2008)


Michael Birnhack, A Quest for A Theory of Privacy: Context and Control: Review of Helen Nissenbaum's Privacy in Context51(4) Jurimetrics: Journal of Law, Science, & Technology 447-479 (2011)


Michael Birnhack & Niva Elkin-Koren, Does Law Matter Online? Empirical Evidence on Privacy Law Compliance, 17Michigan Telecommunication & Technology Law Review337-384 (2011)


Michael Birnhack, Hebrew Authors and English Copyright Law in Mandate Palestine, 12(1) Theoretical Inquiries in Law 201-240 (2011)


Michael Birnhack, Reverse Engineering Informational Privacy Law, 15 Yale Journal of Law & Technology 24-91 (2012)


Michael Birnhack & Yofi Tirosh, Naked in Front of the Machine: Does Airport Scanning Violate Privacy? 74 Ohio State Law Journal 1263-1034 (2013)


Michael Birnhack, Copyright Pioneers, 5(1) WIPO J. 118-126 (2013)


Full CV

Tel Aviv University, P.O. Box 39040, Tel Aviv 6997801, Israel
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