University of Cambridge > > Technology and Democracy Events > The Power Switch; How Power is Changing in a Networked World - an international symposium

The Power Switch; How Power is Changing in a Networked World - an international symposium

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Recent decades have seen the rise of a number of large US technology companies – Alphabet (Google’s holding company), Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon and Apple – which have achieved global dominance in their original fields (digital technology) and are now moving into other markets (healthcare, mobility, hotels, media, to name just four). The scale and reach—as well as the wealth—of these corporations revives old concerns about corporate power and its regulation (for example in relation to monopoly and data protection). But their dominance also raises new questions deriving from the distinctive affordances of digital technology and the companies’ mastery of it. In what ways is the power that they wield different from older kinds of corporate power? How should the power flowing from mastery of the technology be conceptualised? What kinds of regulatory approaches are viable in this new environment? Where does corporate responsibility begin and end in applications of Artificial Intelligence? And can the nation state effectively regulate these new global entities?

This symposium, which is hosted by the Technology and Democracy project at CRASSH , will consider these and related issues.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Ariel Ezrachi) is Slaughter and May Professor of Competition Law, University of Oxford and Director of the Oxford Centre for Competition Law and Policy. He is co-author (with Maurice Stucke) of ”Virtual Competition: The Promise and Perils of the Algorithm-Driven Economy”:( (2016).
  • Emily Bell, is the founding Director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School. She is a former editor-in-chief of Guardian websites and was Director of Digital content for Guardian News and Media. She was the 2015 Humanitas Professor of Media at Cambridge University and her lecture, “The End of the News as We Know It: How Facebook Swallowed Journalism” sparked a global debate which culminated in the controversies about “fake news” during the 2016 US Presidential election.
  • Ronald Deibert is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Citizen Lab in the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. He is the author of Black Code and a leading scholar on the intersection of digital technologies, global security and human rights.
  • Ross Anderson is Professor of Security Engineering at the University of Cambridge and a leading expert on the technology, economics and psychology of computer security. He was awarded the 2016 Lovelace Medal—given to “individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the understanding or advancement of computer science”.
  • Martin Moore is Director of the Centre for the Study of Media, Communication and Power, and a Senior Research Fellow at King’s College London. He is the author of Tech Giants and Civic Power (2016).
  • Ellen P. Goodman is Professor of Law at Rutgers University and co-founder of the Rutgers Institute for Information Policy & Law (RIIPL). She is also a visiting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School of Communication and has been a Senior Visiting Scholar at the Federal Communications Commission. Ellen has written on digital platforms, the Internet of Things, spectrum and net neutrality policy, free expression and advertising law, and public media, and is currently working on data transparency and civic tech projects.
  • Malte Ziewitz is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Science & Technology Studies at Cornell University. His research revolves around the practicalities of (e)valuation, governance, and accountability in digitally networked environments.
  • Seda Guerses is a FWO post-doctoral fellow at COSIC /ESAT in the Department of Electrical Engineering at KU Leuven, Belgium and a Research Associate at the Center for Information Technology and Policy at Princeton University. Her research focusses on conceptions of privacy and surveillance in online social networks, requirements engineering, privacy enhancing technologies and identity management systems.
  • Mireille Hildebrandt is Research Professor on Interfacing Law and Technology in the Research Group for Law Science Technology and Society, Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Chair of Smart Environments, Data Protection and the Rule of Law in the Institute of Computing and Information Sciences at Radboud University in Nijmegen.

This talk is part of the Technology and Democracy Events series.

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