Information Escrows (with Cait Unkovic), 111 Michigan Law Review 145 (2012)
A variety of information escrows—including allegation escrows, suspicion
escrows, and shared-interest escrows—hold the promise of reducing the
first-mover disadvantage that can deter people with socially valuable private
information from disclosing that information to others. Information
escrows allow people to transmit sensitive information to a trusted
intermediary, an escrow agent, who only forwards the information under
prespecified conditions. For example, an allegation escrow for sexual harassment
might allow a victim to place a private complaint into escrow with
instructions that the complaint be lodged with the proper authorities only
if the escrow agent receives at least one additional allegation against the
same individual. We assess the benefits and costs of allegation escrows and
discuss how they might be applied to a variety of claims, including sexual
harassment, date rape, adultery, and corporate and public whistleblowing.
We also show how analogous shared-interest escrows might be
used in workplace dating and adoption contexts to facilitate the discovery
of parties’ mutual interest when unintermediated expressions of interest
might themselves be harassing.
Date of Authorship for this Version
Ayres, Ian, "Information Escrows" (2012). Faculty Scholarship Series. Paper 4741.