Susan Freiwald

Susan Freiwald

Dean, Professor, and Dean's Circle Scholar

Dean • Full-Time Faculty

(415) 422-6304


Dean and Professor Susan Freiwald joined the USF School of Law faculty in 1997. A former software developer, Freiwald has published numerous articles on the regulation of online surveillance, including, most recently, in the Harvard Law Review. As amicus curiae, Freiwald has briefed and argued major cases involving the Fourth Amendment protection of new communications technologies and has been recognized for her leadership in securing landmark electronic surveillance legislation in California. Freiwald serves on several advisory boards in the fields of privacy and cybersecurity and her scholarly work has been cited in numerous state and federal court decisions. 

Dean Freiwald began her appointment at the helm of the law school on July 1, 2019, after serving as the school's interim dean for one year. Prior to that, Freiwald was the associate dean for academic affairs from 2017-18. As associate dean, Freiwald spearheaded a revamp of the curriculum, redesigned the first year orientation and tutorial programs, and launched the Academic and Bar Exam Success Program. As a faculty member, Freiwald received the School of Law Distinguished Professor Award and served as chair of the school’s strategic planning, budget, status, appointments, and honor committees. In addition, she has served on a host of university committees, including the university budget committee and as the faculty representative on the USF Board of Trustees development committee from 2006–2014.


BA, Harvard University
JD, Harvard University
Assistant Professor, Legal Studies Department, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
Associate, Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton
Law Clerk, Hon. Amalya L. Kearse, U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
Information Privacy Law
Internet Law
Privacy Law
Criminal Procedure
Awards & Distinctions

First Place Award, Constitutional Test for Government Surveillance Competition: From Jones to Drones at the Fifth Annual Privacy Law Scholars Conference (2012).

2017 Privacy Award, from The Berkeley Center for Technology Law at The Sixth Annual BCLT Privacy Law Forum: Silicon Valley (2017).

Law Review and Journal Articles
“The Carpenter Chronicle: A Near-perfect Surveillance,” 132 Harvard Law Review 205 (2018).
“At the Privacy Vanguard: California's Electronic Communication Privacy Act (CalECPA),” 33 Berkeley Technology Law Journal (2018). Read Here
“Nothing to Fear or Nowhere to Hide: Competing Visions of the NSA's 215 Program,” 12 Colorado Technology Law Journal 309 (2014).
“Light in the Darkness: How the LEATPR Standards Guide Legislators in Regulating Law Enforcement Access to Cell Site Location Record,” 66 Oklahoma Law Review 875 (2014). Read More
“Reforming Surveillance Law: The Swiss Model,” 28 Berkeley Technology Law Journal 1261-1331 (2013). (co-authored with Sylvain Métille) SSRN
“Managing the Muddled Mass of Big Data,” (2013). Read More
“The Davis Good Faith Rule and Getting Answers to the Questions Jones Left Open,” 14 North Carolina Journal of Law & Technology 341 (Spring 2013). SSRN
“Simply More Privacy Protective: Law Enforcement Surveillance in Switzerland as compared to the U.S.,” (forthcoming). (Co-authored with Sylvain Metille.)
“Cell Phone Location Data and the Fourth Amendment: A Question of Law, Not Fact,” 70 Maryland Law Review 677 (2011). Read More
“A Comment on James Grimmelmann's Saving Facebook,” 95 Iowa Law Review Bulletin 5 (2009). SSRN
“Electronic Surveillance at the Virtual Border,” 78 Mississippi Law Journal 329 (2008). (Symposium Issue) SSRN
“Fourth Amendment Protection for Stored E-Mail,” University of Chicago Legal Forum: Law in a Networked World 121 (2008). (Co-authored with Patricia L. Bellia.) SSRN
“First Principles of Communications Privacy,” 2007 Stanford Technology Law Review 3 (2007). (The article was republished in Surveillance and Privacy Exception (Amicus Books, 2009) and Professional Privileges and Judicial Approach (Amicus Books, 2009.) SSRN
“The Fourth Amendment Status of Stored Email: The Law Professors' Brief in Warshak v. United States,” 41 University of San Francisco Law Review 559 (2007). (Co-authored with Patricia L. Bellia.) SSRN
“Online Surveillance: Remembering the Lessons of the Wiretap Act,” 56 Alabama Law Review 9 (2004). SSRN
“Comparative Institutional Analysis in Cyberspace: The Case of Intermediary Liability for Defamation,” 14 Harvard Journal of Law & Technology 569 (2001). SSRN
“Uncertain Privacy: Communication Attributes After the Digital Telephony Act,” 69 Southern California Law Review 949 (1996). SSRN
“Addressing the New Hazards of the High Technology Workplace,” 104 Harvard Law Review 1898 (1991).
“Generalizing Justice,” 103 Harvard Law Review 1384 (1990). (This book note reviewed Lenore Walker's, Terrifying Love)
“From Survey to Sample: Labor Market Data for Interwar London,” 18 Historical Method 125 (1985). (With Barry J. Eichengreen)