At Luminate, we’re committed to ensuring the rights of people and communities are upheld in the design and use of data and technology. Our Data & Digital Rights impact area works to give everyone more power over the data that impacts their lives and societies, influence data norms and standards worldwide, and make data and digital infrastructure fairer and more accessible.
That’s why we’re looking forward to connecting with old and new friends this week at RightsCon in Tunis. The conference, organised by our investee AccessNow, will bring together over 2,500 people with an interest in human rights in the digital age from 130 countries.
What we’re hoping to learn, who we want to meet, and where you can find our team this week
- Martin Tisné, who leads our Data & Digital Rights impact area and our work in Western Europe, will sit down with Zeynep Tufekci on Friday at 10:30 AM in Oya 1 (Laico) to discuss the need for a Bill of Data Rights.The session will consider how data rights policies can help protect both individuals and groups, and Martin and Zeynep will delve into the infrastructure needed to safeguard data rights, including data rights boards, data trusts, and specialised data-rights litigators. Martin wrote about the topic in a piece that was originally published in the MIT Technology Review.
- David Madden, who works on key strategic initiatives around the world, would love to meet other organisations working on platform accountability, especially in the global south. If you're trying to reduce the threat posed by platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp please DM @davidmadden. To learn more about our strategy in this area, read his new blog, Tackling Digital Threats to Democracy Around the World. David will also be speaking at the Technology in Conflict: Assessing platform companies’ human rights responsibility and accountability in high-risk settings session on Thursday at 9:00 AM.
- Felipe Estefan, who leads our work in Latin America, will be keen to learn about efforts happening in the region, particularly those focused in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Venezuela. Felipe is especially interested in connecting with those who are focused on the issues of government surveillance, data governance, and the spread of mis/disinformation. He can be reached through @FelipeEstefan.
- Gabriela Hadid will be at a side event hosted by Indela on Tuesday from 2-4:15 PM at Hotel LAICO. Join us if you work in data rights in Latin America to learn more about the initiative, which is working to fund innovative projects focused on freedom of expression, privacy, and access to knowledge that aim to advance digital rights through policy advocacy, public campaigns, applied research, and litigation.
- Salmana Ahmed would be keen to hear from those working on the topic of data rights, in the lead up to Martin and Zeynep’s session at the end of the week, and also those working on issues at the intersection of equity, justice, and AI. You can reach her @sal_mana.
- Wendy Trott is looking to meet with people working on surveillance technology, AI ethics and algorithmic transparency, and privacy/data protection in Africa. If this is you, be sure to chat with her at the Africa regional lunch on Thursday.
With over 400 sessions, there’s no lack of interesting panels and inspiring speakers. Here’s a few we’re looking forward to at RightsCon.
- From Call to Action: Visions for a Contract for the Web (Wednesday, June 12 at 10:30 AM) Our investee The Web Foundation will be giving participants the chance to input on the development of the Contract for the Web, suggest standards for inclusion in the final text, and set goals for the digital rights community to keep accountability standards high and effective to instigate meaningful change from the web we have to the web we want!
Organizing a Global South Led Movement for Platform Accountability with the Next Billion Coalition (Wednesday June 12 at 2:15 PM) When Luminate grantees in Myanmar MIDO and Phandeeyar penned an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg last year it sparked a wave of similar #DearMark letters from around the world and a new coalition of organisations working on platform accountability. Join them!
Data Protection and Refugees: Informed consent in asylum process and access to aid (Thursday, June 13 at 3:45 PM) Team members from our investees Gesellschaft für Freiheitsrechte and Privacy International, as well as from our sister organisation Omidyar Network, will join a panel on data protection for refugees.
The Ranking Digital Rights 2019 Corporate Accountability Index (Thursday, June 13 at 3:45 PM) RDR Director Rebecca MacKinnon will be joined by a panel of experts who will offer reactions to the latest Index findings, insights about recent trends around the world, as well as strategies for getting companies to build respect for human rights into their policies and practices.
Social Media, Mis/Disinformation, and Human Rights: Messages from Nations’ Elections (Friday, June 14 at 2:15 PM). We’ve been supporting organisations who are tackling digital threats to democracy around the world. Learn from the experiences of our grantees: MAFINDO (Indonesia), Digital Africa Research Lab (Nigeria), and MIDO (Myanmar).
H/T to The Engine Room for the inspiration to compile this list. Check out their post on RightsCon here.