Profits Built on Personal Data
Profits Built on Personal Data
When: January 27 2022 12:00 PM EST
Americans developed, funded, and are perpetuating a new economic sector built on personal data analysis. In return for free services, users grant firms such as Google, Amazon, Garmin, and Facebook rights to use and reuse their personal data. These firms collect and monetize this data to create new products and services. Some also sell their analyses and data sets to a wide range of governmental and corporate customers. Many call such business models surveillance capitalism, because as Shoshana Zuboff has noted, these firms “repackage personal data as prediction products for customers who want to learn how we think, what we will do in the future, and even how we vote.”
The world has benefited from these products and services, but researchers have found that these business models can undermine human rights, affect political and social stability, and reduce human autonomy and trust. In this webinar, our speakers will examine the business model and discuss some of these negative effects. They will then suggest potential strategies to mitigate some of these effects and answer audience questions.
- Nathalie Maréchal, Senior Policy and Partnership Manager, Ranking Digital Rights – Nathalie leads the development of RDR’s policy positions, coordinates stakeholder engagement and partnerships, and publicly represents RDR with the media and at conferences around the world. Nathalie was the lead author for the It’s the Business Model report series, which builds on her 2018 Motherboard op-ed, Targeted Advertising is Ruining the Internet and Breaking the World, to argue that disinformation, hate speech, and other “information harms” linked to social media platforms are rooted in the surveillance capitalism business model.
- Chris Riley, Senior Fellow, R Street Institute – Chris is R Street’s senior fellow of Internet Governance where he has authored several publications such as The Great War, Part 1: The Internet vs Democracy. He is leading the Knight Foundation-funded project on content moderation, running convenings of a broad range of stakeholders to develop a framework for platforms managing user-generated content. Chris is also doing policy analysis around content regulatory issues related to that project, including work on Section 230 in the United States and the Digital Services Act in the European Union.
- Sean McDonald, Co-Founder, Digital Public; Chief Executive Officer, FrontlineSMS – Sean designs technology for governance and governance for technology. He is the CEO of FrontlineSMS, an award-winning technology company, and the co-founder of Digital Public, a public interest digital governance firm. Sean is a Senior Fellow at the Center for International Governance Innovation, a lawyer barred in New York, and a digital rights activist. He holds a JD/MA from American University and has authored numerous pieces such as the Fiduciary Supply Chain and #CivicBusiness.
- Moderator: Research Professor Susan Aaronson, Director of the Digital Trade and Data Governance Hub, GWU
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