Today, governments and private actors can collect, store, and continuously update vast troves of data. Yet we have barely begun to understand the impact on our democracy of large-scale data collection and the use of such data sets to make decisions that can dramatically impact individual lives and entire communities.

In the lead up to our Data and Democracy symposium, the Knight Institute’s Research Director, Katy Glenn Bass, talked to several of the panelists about their papers. Below are links to those conversations. Note: We will post additional interviews in the coming weeks.

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Rebecca Wexler discusses her paper, “The Law and Political Economy of Privacy Asymmetries,” which focuses on how big data intersects with the criminal justice system. 


Aziz Huq discusses the paper he co-authored with Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, “Toward the Democratic Regulation of AI Systems: A Prolegomenon,” which focuses on artificial intelligence and the challenges of regulation.


danah boyd and Dan Bouk discuss their paper “Democracy’s Data Infrastructure: The Entanglement of Politics and Science,” which examines the technopolitics of the U.S. census.


Hannah Bloch-Wehba discusses her paper “Transparency’s AI Problem,” which looks at artificial intelligence, its use in governments, and transparency law.


John Bowers discusses the paper he co-authored with Elaine Sedenberg and Jonathan Zittrain, “Platform Accountability through Digital ‘Poison Cabinets,’” which offers a proposal for archiving the content that social media platforms remove in the course of their moderation practices. 


Wendy Wagner discusses the paper she co-authored with Martin Murillo, “Is the Administrative State Ready for Big Data? Exploring the Accountability Challenges that Big Data Tools Present for Environmental and Public Health Regulation,” which focuses on big data tools, the administrative state, and accountability. 


Mathias Vermeulen discusses his paper, “The Keys to the Kingdom: Overcoming GDPR concerns to unlock access to platform data for independent researchers,” which focuses on increasing access to platform data for researchers who study how disinformation spreads and how it affects discourse online.


Daniel Susser and Kiel Brennan-Marquez discuss the paper they co-authored, “Privacy, Autonomy, and the Dissolution of Markets,” which focuses on the future of markets under surveillance capitalism. 


Bertrall Ross discusses the paper he co-authored with Douglas Spencer, “Voter Data and Democratic Inequality,” which focuses on how data about voters can be used in ways that exacerbate participatory inequality. 


RSVP for the Data and Democracy symposium.