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Title: In search of a human rights-compatible internet: Lessons and questions from the Ranking Digital Rights projectRebecca MacKinnon directs the Ranking Digital Rights (RDR) project at New America, setting global standards for corporate respect for freedom of expression and privacy online. The RDR Corporate Accountability Index ranks the world’s most powerful internet, mobile, and telecommunications companies on relevant commitments and policies, based on international human rights standards. Author of Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle For Internet Freedom (2012), MacKinnon is a 2019-2020 University of California Free Speech and Civic Engagement Fellow. She is co-founder of the citizen media network Global Voices, serves on the Board of Directors of the Committee to Protect Journalists and a founding member of the Global Network Initiative. Previously, she was CNN’s Bureau Chief and correspondent in China and Japan between 1998-2004. She has taught at the University of Hong Kong and the University of Pennsylvania, and held fellowships at Harvard, Princeton, and the Open Society Foundations.
Abstract: Since 2015 New America’s Ranking Digital Rights project has produced four iterations of the RDR Corporate Accountability Index, which ranks some of the world’s most powerful internet, mobile, and telecommunications companies on their disclosed policies and practices affecting users’ freedom of expression and privacy. (See https://rankingdigitalrights.org/index2019) For the next iteration of the RDR Index, new indicators are being developed to evaluate company policies related to targeted advertising and the use of algorithms, automation, and machine learning. RDR Director Rebecca MacKinnon will give a preview of those new indicators, describe the research and consultation process used to develop them, and discuss their relationship to current policy debates about the power of digital platforms, online speech, democracy and human rights. In the ensuing discussion she hopes to learn about related research by UCSD students and faculty and explore potential areas of collaboration for the future.
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