Data & Civil Rights

Data & Civil Rights is an annual conference that brings together leaders in civil rights, government, industry, and academic research, to address an urgent question: How do we preserve and strengthen civil rights in the face of data-driven technological change?

We are a forum for candid, factually grounded discussions that go beyond rhetoric or talking points. With an eclectic, passionate and energetic group of attendees, the result is a conversation, not an echo chamber. A detailed understanding of perspectives and views across different organizations and sectors allows for clear mapping of common ground and a better understanding of key differences. Such conversations also empower academic researchers to connect their work with what is happening on the ground.

The conference explores both the benefits and the risks that new technology can bring for civil rights. New data can quantify civil rights gaps, highlight the need for change, and allow us to track progress toward longstanding goals. At the same time, as computers make more of the decisions that shape peoples’ lives, there are new risks for civil rights: when the data behind a computer system reflects old human biases, automated decisions may perpetuate injustice.