Privacy, Privacy Enhancing Technologies & the Individual

Privacy, Privacy Enhancing Technologies & the Individual

Law has granted individuals some rights over the use of data about them, but data protection rights have not redressed the balance between the individual and the tech giants. A number of approaches aim to augment personal rights to allow individuals to police their own information space, facilitating informational self-determination. This reports reviews this approach to privacy protection, explaining how controls have generally been conceived either as the use of technology to aid individuals in this policing task, or the creation of further legal instruments to augment their powers. It focuses on two recent attempts to secure or support data protection rights, one using technology and the other the law. The former is called Solid, a decentralised platform for linked data, while the latter is a novel application of trust law to develop data trusts in which individuals’ data is managed by a trustee with the individuals as beneficiaries. The report argues that structural impediments make it hard for thriving, diverse ecosystems of Solid apps or data trusts to achieve critical mass – a problem that has traditionally haunted this empowering approach.

Read Kieron’s paper below



Atlas of AI

Kate Crawford, Atlas of AI (Yale University Press 2021). How AI is changing the world’s geography (largely for the worse), as a technology of extraction.

An Ugly Truth

Sheera Frenkel & Cecilia Kang,
An Ugly Truth (Bridge Street Press 2021).
Expose of the ruthlessness of Facebook’s growth strategy.

Perspectives on Digital Humanism

  • Hannes Werthner
  • Erich Prem
  • Edward A. Lee
  • Carlo Ghezzi
  • This book is open access, which means that you have free and unlimited access.
  • Aims to set an agenda for research and action in the emerging field of Digital Humanism
  • Contains short essays by selected thinkers from computer science, law, humanities and social sciences
  • Covers the complex interplay of technology and humankind to ensure the full respect of universal human rights

Lie Machines: How to Save Democracy from Troll Armies, Deceitful Robots, Junk News Operations, and Political Operatives

Phil Howard, 2020 (Yale) Artificially intelligent “bot” accounts attack politicians and public figures on social media. Conspiracy theorists publish junk news sites to promote their outlandish beliefs. Campaigners create fake dating profiles to attract young voters. We live in a world of technologies that misdirect our attention, poison our political conversations, and jeopardize our democracies. With massive amounts of social media and public polling data, and in-depth interviews with political consultants, bot writers, and journalists, Philip N. Howard offers ways to take these “lie machines” apart. Find out more at