Toward a Digital Bill of Rights

Event Date: 

Thursday, January 7, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Event Date Details: 

Big tech has created a $4 trillion industry from our personal data, sustaining the wealthiest and most powerful companies in the history of the world. Posturing as politically neutral, most have close relationships with the US government, contracts with the military, and assist in surveillance programs that access their users’ data. Prof. Ramesh Srinivasan will discuss his efforts to create a Digital Bill of Rights in dialogue with national leaders, academics, and activists. His talk will consider the erosion of rights within a digital landscape controlled by Big Tech companies, and offer pathways forward for preserving rights to free speech and privacy. Srinivasan will also address concerns about algorithmic bias and discrimination, civil rights in digital contexts, and the ongoing challenges presented by deregulation and corporate conglomeration.

With Prof. Srinivasan are CITS’s Amr El Abbadi (Computer Science) and Lisa Parks (Film & Media Studies). We hope you’ll join us for a rousing, interdisciplinary Q&A. 

About the Speakers

Ramesh Srinivasan is Professor of Information Studies and Design at UCLA, and founder of the UC-wide Digital Cultures Lab. He has worked in over 70 countries studying internet/social media technologies, AI, big data’s impacts on political life, economic concerns and futures. His research investigates technology’s relationship to democracy and politics, public health, policy, social change, economic development, distance learning, migration studies, and cultural heritage.
Amr El Abbadi is CITS Steering Committee member, and Professor and former chair of UCSB Computer Science. His research includes designing systems for collaborative environments, with special interest in social media applications and issues related to privacy preservation. Professor Abbadi is a Fellow of ACM, IEEE, and AAAS.  
Lisa Parks is a Distinguished Professor of Film and Media Studies and Director of the Global Media Technologies and Cultures (GMTaC) Lab, which she founded at MIT and moved to UCSB in 2020. Her research is focused on human and social aspects of media infrastructures; satellite technologies and globalization; and media, militarization, and surveillance. Professor Parks is a former Director of CITS and a 2018 MacArthur Fellow.