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Advancing human rights in the age of AI and the digital society

Housed at Essex University’s Human Rights Centre with partners worldwide, the Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project considers the challenges and opportunities presented by AI, big data and associated technology from a human rights perspective.

Watch our video below to find out how AI can affect human rights.

What we do

How AI affects human rights

Identifying and assessing the risks and opportunities for human rights posed by artificial intelligence.

Ethics and regulation

Informing the governance and regulation of the design, development and use of big data, AI and emerging technology.

Accountability and remedies

Ensuring access to justice for individuals and groups.

Funded and supported by:

Our research areas

COVID-19

Exploring the role of tech in dealing with COVID-19

Algorithmic accountability

Developing a comprehensive approach for algorithmic accountability to protect human rights.

Consent

Addressing how data processing is often legitimized without consent being informed, freely given, or specific.

Corporate responsibility

Assessing current gaps in practice and accountability and ensuring that that individuals have access to effective remedies for human rights harms resulting from business practices.

Facial recognition

Investigating how facial recognition technology is used and its human rights implications.

Health

Identifying opportunities and threats to the right to health in a new data-driven economy.

Humanitarian assistance

Developing new approaches to human rights and humanitarian work using computational techniques.

Intelligence oversight

Investigating how intelligence oversight techniques are being used and their utility in protecting human rights.

Law enforcement

Analysing the implications of police data and technology on human rights.

Mis and disinformation and deep fakes

Investigating how mis and disinformation are affecting human rights.

Open source investigations

Researching the ethical considerations that should be taken into account when conducting open source investigations for advocacy or legal accountability.

Latest news and events

  • Sep152020

    We’re Hiring! Senior Research Officer (Security and Surveillance Practices)

    Applications are invited for the position of Senior Research Officer, within the Department of Sociology, University of Essex, to work…

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  • Sep152020

    HRBDT News Update: January – August 2020

    I am delighted to introduce the first update of the ESRC Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project for 2020,…

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  • Sep112020

    Essex Expertise Informs Facial Recognition Decision

    The expertise and leading-edge research of three Essex academics has informed a landmark judgment on police use of facial recognition.…

    Read more

Our Partners

Queen Mary University of London
University of Cambridge
Eye Witness Media
Universal Rights Group
World Health Organisation
Geneva Academy