DLI | News


DLI will host a single day autonomous vehicles workshop on Friday 13 March 2020, bringing together experts from engineering, policy, and industry to discuss the social implications of autonomous transport from different perspectives. As public perceptions of autonomous vehicles waver, rigorous ethical and political analysis of the future of transport has never been more important. More info >

Having kickstarted the Digital Life Seminar with Kashmir Hill's New York Times hard-hitting expose on Clearview AI, DLI postdoctoral fellow Jake Goldenfein was interviewed by CNN Business on the benefits and harms of facial recognition technology. Listen to the full interview >

Digital Life Initiative fellows Diana Freed (2019-2020) and Nirvan Tyagi (2018-2019) were among the 36 emerging scholars who received 2020 Facebook Fellowships. This prestigious fellowship provides students with support for their research projects, as well as opportunities to engage with Facebook researchers. Diana and Nirvan, as well as three other Cornellians, were selected from a pool of 1800 applicants. We are very proud of their accomplishments!

DLI is excited to announce that Postdoctoral Fellow Jake Goldenfein has published his book Monitoring Laws: Profiling and Identity in the World State with Cambridge University Press. Traces the history of government profiling, the effects of contemporary technologies on surveillance practices, and how the law protects individuals by protecting 'identity'. Goldenfein's analysis of emerging legal protections for contemporary technological environments makes this ideal for anyone interested in how computation is changing society and governance. Read more >

DLI Visiting Fellow Yaël Eisenstat has released a compelling op-ed for the Washington Post, where she discusses her role as former elections integrity head at Facebook, and the tensions surrounding political advertising. "I had spent much of my career working to strengthen and defend democracy — including freedom of speech — as an intelligence officer, diplomat and White House adviser. Now I had the opportunity to help a company that I viewed as playing a major role in one of the biggest threats to our democracy possibly correct course." Read more >

DLI's Postdoctoral Fellow Jake Goldenfein has co-authored Private Companies and Scholarly Infrastructure: The Question of Google Scholar with Sebastian Benthall, Daniel Griffin and Eran Toch, and will be presenting the paper at the University of Amsterdam's symposium, "MoneyTalks? The impact of corporate funding on information law and policy research". The paper takes a broader view on industry funding in academic research. Rather than looking at direct contributions, the paper investigates the effects of industry infrastructure in academic research. That includes evaluating what is new or different about Google Scholar from other search and bibliometric services; whether and how that infrastructure might have affected academic work; how we might conceptualize and evaluate the accountability of Google scholar, and what could make it more accountable to the scholarly community. More information > 

"Opting out" is a myth! Finn Brunton and DLI Director Helen Nissenbaum’s book Obfuscation: A User’s Guide for Privacy and Protest continues to garner interest from multiple media channels. "If the apparatus of total surveillance that we have described here were deliberate, centralized, and explicit, a Big Brother machine toggling between cameras, it would demand revolt, and we could conceive of a life outside the totalitarian microscope. But if we are nearly as observed and documented as any person in history, our situation is a prison that, although it has no walls, bars, or wardens, is difficult to escape." Read more > 

Don't miss the latest article adapted from Finn Brunton and DLI Director Helen Nissenbaum’s book Obfuscation: A User’s Guide for Privacy and Protest via The MIT Press Reader. "Consider a day in the life of a fairly ordinary person in a large city in a stable, democratically governed country. She is not in prison or institutionalized, nor is she a dissident or an enemy of the state, yet she lives in a condition of permanent and total surveillance unprecedented in its precision and intimacy." Read more > 

DLI Postdoctoral Fellow Ido Sivan-Sevilla and his co-author Gabi Siboni have just published an English version of their comparative study on Regulation in Cyberspace through the Institute for National Security Studies (INNS). "Regulation in cyberspace is an emerging challenge. It is a complex and dynamic domain that is largely driven by the business-civilian sector and has the potential to cause significant damage to national security. This essay surveys the unique characteristics of cyberspace and the various strategies adopted in other countries in order to manage cyber risk. It proposes a multilayered regulatory model together with concrete recommendations for the regulation of the business-civilian sector in cyberspace." Read more  >

DLI Director Helen Nissenbaum’s co-authored paper with Daniel Susser and Beate Roessler, entitled Online Manipulation: Hidden Influences in a Digital World, has been identified by Paul Ohm as one of the finest works of recent scholarship relating to Technology Law: "This article might provide the conceptual clarity required for the broad and sweeping kind of new law we need to fix much of what ails us." 

More information  >

​Congratulations to DLI Visiting Researcher Savita Bailur and DLI Affiliated Faculty Nicola Dell for winning at Facebook's Content Policy Research on Social Media Platforms awards. In response to Facebook's focus on content policies around hate speech and preventing offline harm, Dell and Bailur submitted a dynamic project proposal that examines the techniques and tools used by intimate partner abusers online. More information >

DLI Director Helen Nissenbaum, along with collaborators from New York University and Princeton University, has released a new paper, entitled VACCINE: Using Contextual Integrity for Data Leakage Detection. The VACCINE system uses the CI framework to define admissible information flow and enforce privacy policies, with the goal of improving data leakage prevention. The paper will also be presented at the upcoming Web Conference 2019 in San Francisco, CA. Read paper >

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