What is the future of human rights and human security in a data-saturated world?
In today’s global digital ecosystem, cell phones can document and distribute images of physical violence. Drones and satellites can assess disasters from afar. Big Data collected from social media can provide real-time awareness about political protests. Yet practitioners, researchers, and policymakers face unique challenges and opportunities when assessing technological benefit, risk, and harm. How can these technologies be used responsibly to assist people in need, prevent abuse, and protect from harm?
For some years now, the humanitarian and development communities have explored new data-driven approaches, innovations, and interventions. However, for human rights and human security practitioners and policymakers, distinct issues emerge. While data and information have always been important for these fields, the nature of digital and networked technologies and their capabilities to collect, store, and analyze data is evolving rapidly.
The problem is that we simply do not know all the positive and negative impacts these new technologies will bring, which makes it difficult to make informed decisions. We do not yet know how data science, computation, and design thinking might influence traditional legal, interventionist, economic, and protectionist frameworks. It is unclear whether the same technologies that are transforming various aspects of our commercial and social life also have the potential to address human suffering, empowerment, and justice.
This program investigated data, human rights, and human security in relation to fields such as international development, crisis response, and philanthropy. Cross cutting concerns include data ethics, privacy, validity, biases, prediction, risks, sharing, governance, and cybersecurity.
The program identified questions and tensions arising in this space such as:
The ideas and questions above are addressed in a primer written for multiple stakeholders – from technologists, academics, and business to governments, NGOs, and intergovernmental organizations.
Through partnerships, collaboration, original research, and technology development, this program strengthened cooperation across stakeholders to innovate and implement thoughtful, balanced, and responsible evidence-based responses to our current and future data-centered issues.
report | 10.10.18
In Governing Artificial Intelligence: Upholding Human Rights & Dignity, Mark Latonero shows how human rights can serve as a “North Star” to guide the development and governance of artificial...
Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts | 06.07.18
Mark Latonero and Zachary Gold
Data & Society Data & Human Rights Research Lead Mark Latonero and Zachary Gold look at the history of web crawlers usage and legal issues surrounding that usage. “This...
paper | 11.30.16
Mark Latonero, Monica Bulger, Bronwyn Wex, Emma Day, Kapil Aryal, Mariya Ali, Keith Hiatt
D&S researchers Mark Latonero and Monica Bulger, with Bronwyn Wex, Emma Day, Kapil Aryal, Mariya Ali, and Keith Hiatt, completed a thorough study on online child sexual exploitation in...
working paper | 05.25.16
Mark Latonero, Sheila Murphy, Patricia Riley, Prawit Thainiyom
D&S Fellow Mark Latonero produced a working paper presenting research done in collaboration with Sheila Murphy, Patricia Riley, and Prawit Thainiyom at the University of Southern California under USAID’s C-TIP...
Social Politics | 08.26.14
Jennifer Lynne Musto, danah boyd
Within some public policy and scholarly accounts, human trafficking is increasingly understood as a technological problem that invites collaborative anti-trafficking solutions. A growing cohort of state, non-governmental, and corporate...
The New York Times
Mark Latonero, Melanie Penagos
Harvard Business Review
Keith Hiatt, Michael Kleinman, Mark Latonero
D&S researcher Mark Latonero’s primer, ‘Data, Human Rights, and Human Security’, was mentioned in this analysis of how human rights indicators are constructed and utilized in development.
D&S Fellow Mark Latonero participated in this episode of CBC Radio discussing how mobile tech can help refugees and also smugglers. Researcher Mark Latonero argues that all manner of...
D&S fellow Mark Latonero was quoted in this Reuters piece detailing how human traffickers can use technology to further commit crimes. “Traffickers are using the scale and popularity of...
D&S fellow Mark Latonero spoke at a GovLab Idea Lunch to discuss the complexities of human rights-related data collection. Latonero used his last six years of work in investigating...
“‘The application of big data in the human rights domain is still really in its infancy,’ said Mark Latonero, research director and professor at the USC Annenberg Center on...
Excerpt: “ Mark Latonero, who heads up the University of Southern California’s Technology & Human Trafficking project, spoke about the work his team is doing to try and...
New York, NY
Humboldt University · Berlin, DE
New York, NY
on digital passageways and borders
Digital infrastructures for movement can be turned into infrastructures for control by governments, corporations, and criminals.
understanding patterns of mass violence with data and statistics
The talk will show how biases in raw data can be corrected through estimation and explain why it matters.
On February 19, the International Data Responsibility Group will host the second International Data Responsibility Conference...
Civic Hall · New York, NY
Data visualization has become the visual currency for data driven advocacy, yet little is known about the ethics and responsibilities of dataviz techniques, policies, and practices in analysis, advocacy, research, and design.
The Big Picture
What does the history of visualizations tell us about the cultural origins of data, its representation, and the myth of big data? What might a feminist, critical ethics of design look like for data visualization?
BCLT + NYU ILI + NYU MCC · New York, NY
Data for climate action
Data for Climate Action models a new approach to public-private data sharing, revealing the shared value of big data for climate resilience and sustainable development.
Civic Hall · New York, NY
NYU Poly · Brooklyn, NY
Peace Informatics Lab, Leiden University Centre for Innovation · The Hague
Stanford Social Innovation Review · Stanford, CA
UN Global Pulse · New York, NY
Critical Systems at IT University of Copenhagen · Copenhagen, DK
American Association for the Advancement of Science · Washington, DC
New York, NY
Private sector companies accumulate a tremendous amount of data in their day-to-day operations. Market research, communications tracking, client relationship management, and market activities generate a wealth of information, which tends to stay in the private domain. The call for increased privacy standards and opt-out conditions for such data has been reinforced by recent national and Continue...