Our work at the Digital Civil Society Lab is about figuring out the norms and rules for a thriving civil society in the digital age. This livestreamed discussion from the New America Foundation and The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and Big Data is right in our sweet spot.
The panelists will be discussing a set of civil rights principles for the era of big data. I've copied most of the framework from the co-hosting Leadership Conference's website. You can see the rest of it here and sign up for the event/webcast on Friday, March 14. The hashtag is #datajustice
This comes along within a week of renewed calls for a global Digital Bill of Rights. This effort, the Web We Want, has the support of folks such as Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Earlier efforts, such as this one from John Perry Barlow in 1996 or this one from Laurence Tribe in 1991 or this one from the Reddit community or this one from the Internet Governance Organization in 2007. Alex Howard (then at O'Reilly) wrote a good summary of efforts such as this in 2012.
"Civil Rights Principles for the Era of Big DataTechnological progress should bring greater safety, economic opportunity, and convenience to everyone. And the collection of new types of data is essential for documenting persistent inequality and discrimination. At the same time, as new technologies allow companies and government to gain greater insight into our lives, it is vitally important that these technologies be designed and used in ways that respect the values of equal opportunity and equal justice. We aim to:
- Stop High-Tech Profiling.
- Ensure Fairness in Automated Decisions.
- Preserve Constitutional Principles.
- Enhance Individual Control of Personal Information.
- Protect People from Inaccurate Data.Signatories:Asian Americans Advancing Justice — AAJC
Center for Media Justice
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
National Council of La Raza
National Hispanic Media Coalition
National Urban League
New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute
Also announced this week - the launch of a new social network - Mobisocial - that allows users to keep their own data. See a trend here? I'll be keeping an eye on innovations in how "we the people" are recognizing the legal, normative, and technical possibilities for acting as "We the data."
This is critical to civil society in the digital age.