Digitising our lives
Every detail of our lives today is held somewhere digitally, giving corporations and states the power to access information about our political affiliations, sexual orientation, shopping and travel habits, even health status. It can be used to make our lives easier and to target human rights responses, but it can also be used to discriminate, stifle protest and undermine our rights.
Launched in 2016, our Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project brings together almost 30 Essex researchers, working with colleagues at the University of Cambridge, exploring how human rights can be secured in this digital age.
They are investigating issues including predictive policing, consent, surveillance and counter-terrorism, the use of algorithms to determine access to healthcare and insurance premiums, and how our social media activity can be used to spot and respond to human rights abuses.
A multi-disciplinary approach
Our multi-disciplinary Human Rights Centre is uniquely placed to direct the study. Lawyers, sociologists, computer scientists, economists, criminologists, human rights practitioners and data experts are just some of the researchers working together on this project.
The Centre’s links to key UN agencies, national and international human rights organisations, NGOs, and technology companies will be crucial to realising significant impact.