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Patrick Lee Plaisance

Consumers to citizens: Responsibility and Autonomy in Data Aggregation

The architecture of the Web and the predominant approaches of Big Data are inherently commercial in nature, but as distinctions between human virtual and actual communities continue to blur, the way we conceive of the digital self requires evolution. We are arguably in a period of adolescence, relatively speaking, regarding our digital lives, and we are recognizing patterns of moral development in this realm that are analogous to those of our actual lives. In moving from structures of self-focus and economic exploitation to those of community building and engagement, some key principles of moral agency must serve as critical guides. Platform models for marketing and news delivery will be increasingly called upon to account both for their impacts on the development of the self and on community efficacy. This will mean taking seriously the notions of autonomous agency, communitarian values and human dignity. It will require more comprehensive policy discussions on the nature of harm in the digital world, the distinction between knowledge and information, and the need for a universal right to “be forgotten.”

Earlier Event: October 6
Later Event: October 6
Michael de Yoanna