Conference: Power and Accountability in Tech

The explosive growth of the tech sector has allowed private sector companies to amass an extraordinary amount of power, to the point where these entities exercise control over virtually every aspect of our day-to-day lives. In response, scholars, regulators, and civil society advocates have advanced a range of proposals aimed at boosting public accountability across this sector. These include legal solutions, such as algorithmic fairness rules, as well as novel extra-legal structures, including new multi-stakeholder bodies which aim to provide a layer of public engagement and accountability independent of government control. There are also increasing calls for tough action to bring these companies to heel, from antitrust investigations to new privacy or data protection rules meant to disrupt the data-hungry business models that many tech giants were built around. The diverse, and even contradictory, nature of these potential solutions reflects a highly diffuse understanding of what accountability should look like for these new power structures, and of the proper social response to the unprecedented influence being wielded by the tech sector.

This event will host a series of conversations aimed at framing our understanding of power and accountability in the tech space and generating common understandings of the goal of regulation in this space. The speakers will address a range of topics related to the consolidation of power and will reflect a diversity of perspectives on these vital issues.
November 1 12:00 – 1:30 pm  – Scoping the Problem:  Governance Without Accountability

  • Sarah Roberts, Associate Professor, Gender Studies, UCLA
  • Wafa Ben-Hassine, Principal, Responsible Technology, Omidyar Network
  • Nathaniel Raymond, Lecturer, Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, Yale University
  • André Brock, Associate Professor of Black Digital Studies, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Moderated by: Michael Karanicolas, Executive Director, UCLA Institute for Technology, Law, and Policy

November 2 12:00 – 1:30 pm – Scoping the Problem:  Between a Rock and a Hard Place

  • Evelyn Aswad, Professor of Law, University of Oklahoma; Facebook Oversight Board
  • Bernard Shen, Assistant General Counsel, Microsoft Corporation
  • Moderated by: Dunstan Allison-Hope, Vice President, BSR (Business for Social Responsibility)

November 312:00 – 1:30 pm – Scoping the Problem: The Limits of Regulation

  • Mark Lemley, Professor of Law, Stanford
  • Kendra Albert, Clinical Instructor, Director for the Initiative for a Representative First Amendment, Berkman Klein Center For Internet & Society, Harvard Law School
  • Chinmayi Arun, Resident Fellow, Yale Information Society Project
  • Moderated by: Eugene Volokh, Professor of Law, UCLA

November 4 12:00 – 1:30 pm – Scoping the Problem: The Challenges of Regulation

  • Ann Cavoukian, Executive Director, Global Privacy & Security by Design Centre, Ryerson University; formerly Information & Privacy Commissioner of Ontario
  • Eduardo Bertoni, Representative of the Regional Office for South America of the Inter American Institute of Human Rights; formerly National Data Protection Authority of Argentina.
  • Alex Alben, Lecturer, UCLA Law School, formerly Chief Privacy Officer for Washington State
  • Moderator: Andrew Selbst, Assistant Professor, UCLA

November 5
9:00 – 9:10 am – Welcome and Introductions9:10 – 10:30 am – Panel 1: Understanding Concentrations of Power

  • Nik Guggenberger, Yale ISP
  • Kate Klonick, St. John’s Law School
  • James Park, UCLA
  • Moderator: Jane Bambauer (Arizona)

10:30 – 10:40 am – Break
10:40 am – 12 pm – Panel 2: Scoping Tech Accountability

  • Milton Mueller, Georgia Tech
  • Margot Kaminski, Associate Professor, University of Colorado Law
  • Mark McKenna, Professor of Law, UCLA
  • Katherine J. Strandburg, Professor of Law, New York University School of Law
  • Moderator: Mark Verstraete (UCLA)

12 pm – 1 pm – Breakout Room Paper Presentations

  • Room 1: Mapping Social Media Policy Proposals to Harms: Three Interventions and Their Limitations, Matthew Marinett, University of Toronto Faculty of Law.
  • Room 2: The Technologization of Insurance: An Empirical Analysis of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence’s Impact on Cybersecurity and Privacy, Shauhin A. Talesh and Bryan Cunningham, University of California, Irvine School of Law.
  • Room 3: Children’s Online Privacy and the Case Against Parental Consent, Zahra Takhshid University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

1 pm – 2:30 pm – New Accountability Pressures

  • Nandini Jammi, Co-founder, Check My Ads
  • Jessica Dheere, Executive Director, Ranking Digital Rights
  • Moderator: Isedua Oribhabor, Business and Human Rights Lead, AccessNow

2:30 – 3:30 pm – Breakouts/Paper Presentations

  • Room 1: Online misinformation: improving transparency in content moderation practices of social media companies, Alessia Zornetta, McGill University.
  • Room 2: Probing Personal Data, Lilla Montagnani, Bocconi University, and Mark Verstraete, UCLA Institute for Technology, Law & Policy.

3:30 pm – 5 pm – New Accountability and Governance Structures

  • Wendy Seltzer, Strategy Lead and Counsel, W3C
  • Goren Marby, CEO and President, ICANN
  • David Kaye, Clinical Professor of Law, University of California, Irvine; Chair of Board of Directors, Global Network Initiative (GNI); formerly UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression
  • Moderated by Michael Karanicolas,  Executive Director, UCLA Institute for Technology, Law, and Policy


Nov 01 - 05 2021


12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
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