This animation explores some of the human rights issues posed by big data and Artificial Intelligence.

It explores questions such as do we know what data is being collected?  how is artificial intelligence used in decisions relating to work, law enforcement and social welfare? and does data driven artificial intelligence increase discrimination?

Algorithmic Accountability and Human Rights

A public lecture organised by The Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project (University of Essex), recorded on 26 March 2019 at The Royal Society, London.

The panel members included Dr Lina Dencik (Co-Director Data Justice Lab), Professor Lorna McGregor (Director HRBDT Project), Petra Molnar (University of Toronto) and Dr Daragh Murray (Deputy Work Stream Lead, HRBDT Project).

The panelists discussed the impact of artificial intelligence on different areas of life, with a particular focus on data justice and immigration decisions.

Big Data, Big Threats?

Mark Lattimer, Executive Director of Minority Rights Group International and executive board member of our human rights and big data data technology project, explains why he thinks organisations such as his must work with universities like Essex to address the implications of big data technology.

Big Data in Business: Help or Hindrance

Part of the Talk Big Data series held in partnership with the Administrative Data Research Network Business and Local Government Data Research Centre  and the Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project (HRBDT).

Chair: Neal Kellard (Professor of Finance, University of Essex)
Speakers: Jasmine Birtles (Founder, Moneymagpie); Ian Hutchinson (Lead Software Developer, Projects By If); Helen Simpson (Professor of Economics, University of Bristol)

Big Data, Big Brother?

Do organisations know too much about us? Our personal data is worth more than ever before. Explore privacy in the digital age.

Chair: Daragh Murray (Professor of Law, University of Essex)
Speakers: Gus Hosein (Director, Privacy International); Nathan Lea (Senior Research Associate, Institute for Health Informatics); Andrew Stott (Former Director for Transparency and Digital Engagement for the UK government)

Launch of the Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project

Wednesday 2 March 2016 marked the official launch of the multi-disciplinary Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project, housed at the University of Essex’s Human Rights Centre. The event was attended by more than 100 representatives from NGOs, UN agencies and business, human rights defenders, students, and project members.

Your Data: Why Should You Care?

On 3 December 2019, Dr Elena Abrusci, Sabrina Rau (Senior Research Officers) and  Amy Dickens (Doctoral Student) gave a presentation ‘Your Data – Why Should You Care’ to members of the local community at Firsite, Colchester.  Their thought provoking talk covered topics such as the challenges and implications of providing consent online, disinformation, fake news, online targeting and the use of data-driven technologies such as artificial intelligence in the healthcare sector.

Automated Facial Recognition and Human Rights in the Digital Era

A public lecture organised by The Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project (University of Essex), recorded on 10 September 2019 at The Royal Society, London.

Panel members include: Clare Garvie (Georgetown University Law Centre), Professor Pete Fussey (University of Essex), Dr Daragh Murray (University of Essex) and Reema Patel (Ada Lovelace Institute).

Sky news interview – The Met Police’s use of facial recognition

Professor Fussey was interviewed by Sky news following the publication of the first independently-funded academic report into the use of live facial recognition technology by a UK police force.

The full report can be found here.

The Briefing – the use of facial recognition at London’s Kings Cross

Are private companies allowed to use facial recognition technology? The revelation that a private retail development in London’s King’s Cross had been using facial recognition (FR) for over two years, apparently with the assistance of two UK police forces, raises specific questions in terms of proportionality, consent and “the chilling effect” – the role that surveillance technology may play in limiting political protest and freedom of expression. Professor Pete Fussey and Dr Daragh Murray respond to some of the key questions raised by the King’s Cross case.

Changing Lives Through Research

Already data is making a difference to people across the UK. Hear more about how, where and why research is using Big Data.

Chair: Katherine McNeill (Director, UK Data Archive)
Speakers: Patrick Guthrie (Head of Public Service Reform, Essex County Council); Mounia Lalmas (Director of Research, Yahoo! London); Stephen Simpkin (Senior Analyst – Organisational Intelligence, Essex County Council); Sharon Witherspoon (Deputy Chair, ADRN and Acting Head of Policy, Academy of Social Sciences)

Big Data and Society: Is It A Game Changer?

Why is Big Data hailed as the answer to so many big questions? Listen to those who may know why.

Chair: Lynn Wyeth (Head of Information Governance and Risk, Leicester City Council)
Speakers: Heather Laurie (Pro Vice Chancellor of Research, University of Essex); John Pullinger (UK National Statistician); Lord David Willetts (Former UK Minister for Universities and Science)

Launch of the Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project

Ambassador Eileen Donahoe, of Human Rights Watch, Samantha McGregor, of the ESRC, and University of Essex student Rafael Heredia talk about the importance of this new project at its launch at the British Academy in London.

Our Partners

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