DLI Postdoctoral Fellow Salome Viljoen has published an article for Phenomenal World about moving past individual propertarian and dignitarian claims to data, and towards democratic institutional forms of data governance. "Since the proliferation of the World Wide Web in the 1990s, critics of widely used internet communications services have warned of the misuse of personal data. Alongside familiar concerns regarding user privacy and state surveillance, a now-decades-long thread connects a group of theorists who view data—and in particular data about people—as central to what they have termed informational capitalism.1 Critics locate in datafication—the transformation of information into commodity—a particular economic process of value creation that demarcates informational capitalism from its predecessors." 

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The Digital Life Initiative is thrilled to announce a $2 million dollar gift from Peggy KoenigThis incredible gift will allow us to advance several core goals. A new Fellowship in Technology Law & Policy has been launched to bridge DLI's exceptional research on the societal impact of digital technologies with law and policy-making at city, state, and national levels. As with everything we do, our work in law, policy, and public interest advocacy will be steered by a steadfast commitment to ethics, social justice, and quality of life in digital societies. Read more >

The Digital Life Initiative’s scholarship and influence thrives from strong engagement with industry partners, and we are, therefore, excited to launch a new Industry Affiliates Program. Leaders from industry, academia, nonprofit and government look to DLI for guidance on issues ranging from privacy and cybersecurity to AI ethics. We invite organizations from any field to join us as DLI Affiliates, supporting our mission to shape the future of digital societies by caring about its deep impacts on ethical and political values and the quality of life. Affiliation with DLI signals: (i) Commitment to ethics, (ii) Connection with leading experts, and (iii) Centrality of research. For more information, contact Laura Batten (laura.batten@cornell.edu).  

In her newly released Ted Talk, DLI Visiting Fellow Yaël Eisenstat explores how social media companies like Facebook incentivize inflammatory content, contributing to a culture of political polarization and mistrust. "As long as [social media] algorithms' goals are to keep us engaged, they will feed us the poison that plays to our worst instincts and human weaknesses" Watch here >

Chine Labbé, host and producer of DLI’s Good Code podcast, was interviewed by the Swedish Educational Broadcasting Company about artificial intelligence and the potential risks for widespread discrimination. Although the introduction is in Swedish, Chine’s discussion points throughout are captured in English. Watch here > 

Yaël Eisenstat, DLI Visiting Fellow, and Daniel Kreiss, Principal Researcher, UNC Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life have produced a collaborative position paper that asserts how social media platforms can, and should, go further to protect the 2020 US presidential election. "On July 30th, a small working group of experts on misinformation, platforms, and voting met to analyze platform policies and enforcement of electoral misinformation. The goal was to provide realistic and effective recommendations for additional steps the platforms can take now to combat misinformation about voting." Read full paper >

In Robin Berjon's recent article How The New York Times Thinks About Your Privacy, he articulates how the Newspaper is fostering improved standards, and references the impact of DLI Director Helen Nissenbaum's theory of privacy as contextual integrity. Read full article >

The Berkley Technology Law Journal has published illuminating research conducted by DLI Director Helen Nissenbaum and Kirsten Martin’s on the perceptions surrounding locational data: “This Article reports on a set of empirical studies that reveal how people think about location data, how these conceptions relate to expectations of privacy, and consequently, what this might mean for law, regulation, and technological design.” Read full article >

Once again, DLI Visiting Fellow Yaël Eisenstat has appeared on the national news to relay her views on the recent Facebook protests. A number of big brands publicly joined a growing Facebook ad boycott at the urging of the NAACP and other civil rights organizations. Listen to the interview >

DLI Visiting Fellow Yaël Eisenstat has released a compelling article via TechStream about how to combat online voter suppression: "Amid a 2018 civil-rights audit of the company, Facebook came under pressure to consider a novel set of questions about its role in politics: What does voter suppression look like on social media? And, in the absence of U.S. legislation on the subject, should the company set the rules to ensure that voter suppression does not occur, in any form and at any level, in the digital world?" Read the full article >

The Cornell Chronicle has released an article about the study completed by DLI's Ido Sivan-Sevilla and Helen Nissenbaum, along with Cornell Tech master's students Wenyi Chu and Xiaoyu Liang, to develop a contextual understanding of online tracking. "The study examined how the order in which users visit 15 major health, education and news sites affects the way third-party trackers follow them around the internet. Although the health sites may have fewer trackers than other types of sites, the researchers found, those trackers are more persistent in following page visitors." Read full article >  

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DLI Dispatch | Newsletter

We are very excited to welcome you to the DLI Dispatch, a monthly newsletter that keep’s you updated on the latest research developments, projects, and activities taking place within our Cornell Tech community! Click below to explore the latest issue:

September Issue | Fall 2020 

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October Issue | Fall 2020 

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