GDPR – the Aftermath

Finally, we’ve received our last email from a company that we didn’t even realise had our data, pleading for us to opt-in to their newsletter. So how do we feel about the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) post-25th May? Alice and Andrew discuss.

Links and People

Helen Nissenbaum’s paper ‘Privacy in Context’

James Williams book ‘Stand Out of Our Light

Sandra Wachter’s twitter is here and Brent Mittelstadt’s is here. Their paper on algorithmic explanation via counterfactuals can be found here.

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Contact Alice here, and contact Andrew here. These are our Twitters: @alicelthwaite and @agstrait.

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Digital Government and Democratic Engagement

Digital Government and Citizen Engagement

Megan Beretta, co-founder of Ottawa Civic Tech and The Canadian Digital Service, joins us this week to discuss digital democracy and how citizens should engage in a healthy state.

There was a LOT to cover. We’ll probably do this again with Meg at some point. But here are some links to check out…

Digital Democracy Think Tanks and Lobby Groups

Democracy Club

WebRoots Democracy

Trust and Democracy

Andrew spoke about Tony Judt’s book ‘Ill Fares the Land’. You can read a review by the Guardian here.

Agonism

I (Alice) am a huge fan of agonism right now and I’m really interested in how it can help shape the design of internet communication platforms. Fundamentally, agonism states that any appeals to ‘rationality’ or what is ‘reasonable’ can only be called this because of the dominant discourse in society. For example, what we believed is rational in 11th century England is very different from what we would call rational today. However, deliberative democrats state that we give legitimacy to the power of our political institutions through a rational consensus. This comes about through deliberation. I kinda reject this. However, the main criticism of agonism states that we need to have consensus in some manner in order to progress. I agree with this statement, but I don’t believe it’s a good criticism of agonism. You can highlight the power structures in political institutions and design communication platforms in a way that helps identify these conflicts. You can also see disagreement as a good and democratic thing. But you can have political institutions on top of these things that promote consensus. It’s just that these political institutions don’t have legitimacy through deliberation.

If you wanna know more then check out the Agonist wiki, email me, or pick up a book on agonism (though I’m not sure which are the good ones rn… I’m ploughing my way through Mouffe’s primary texts and in parts they are v v v heavy). Maybe we’ll do a podcast on this soon.

YOU make us look good 🙂

PLEASE TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW TO LISTEN TO US. Tell your favourite celebrity to tweet about us. Follow us. Contact us. Love us!

Contact Alice here, and contact Andrew here. These are our Twitters: @alicelthwaite and @agstrait. Megan is found on Twitter @megberetta.

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See you all next week! (In a kinda way where we’re not seeing you, but you hear us, and we don’t actually know who you all are… So email us!)

The Pathetic Dot

Lawrence Lessig Pathetic Dot Theory

Wendy Bradley from Saïd Business School (another organisation which has not officially endorsed TWAAATS) joins us this week to talk about internet regulation. Wendy is a postdoc who is a specialist in technological innovation and entrepreneurial finance.

This podcast is about tech ethics – however – we think it is important to not only talk about the specific applications where we need ethics, but also the theories we can use to think about ethics and regulation. One of these is the Pathetic Dot theory by Lawrence Lessig. You can read up on theory here. Lessig believes that there are 4 components to regulation:

  1. Law
  2. Social Norms
  3. Market
  4. Architecture

So if you have a pathetic dot, this dot is constrained in doing what it can do via these 4 aspects. The dot cannot fly because of gravity (architecture). It cannot murder because of the law and social norms. It cannot buy a gold grand piano with aerodynamic wings because of the market.

We discuss where we should focus our attention when it comes to tech ethics. Wendy is awesome and very funny so we hope you enjoy the episode!

Various links and images

We are designing the architecture of the web right now. This has massive implications for what we can do with the internet. We spoke about the ‘hourglass’ image that shows the different layers of the applications and infrastructure of the internet. Here it is!

If you’re interested in Digital Rights Management then check out the wiki here.

Victor Mayer-Schönberger Twitter can be found here.

This is the Planet Money podcast.

UK Ninja Warrior Appearance

If (like us) you were dying to see Wendy’s appearance on UK Ninja Warrior then you can check out here:

A desperate plea for you to make us popular…

PLEASE TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW TO LISTEN TO US. Tell your favourite celebrity to tweet about us. Follow us. Contact us. Love us!

Contact Alice here, and contact Andrew here. These are our Twitters: @alicelthwaite and @agstrait.

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See you next week folks!

Designing for Inclusion

We’re joined by Matt Pierri this week to discuss how tech companies, large and small, can design their products to be inclusive towards people with disabilities. 1 in 5 of us have a disability of some kind, and working to ensure that tech hardware and software is as accessible as possible will have a huge impact on society. Matt is an Australian lawyer completed Masters in public policy last year and now is with us at the Oxford Internet Institute.

We didn’t talk about specific articles per-se, but we did mention Diversity the dance troupe in the UK. If didn’t watch Britain’s Got Talent in 2009 (or Celebrities Go Dating last year…) here’s a link:

 

 

Catching a Killer

Catching a Killer - the Golden State Killer

This week we’re looking at how open source DNA data was used to catch the Golden State Killer. Is this an ethical use of technology?

In the pre-amble, Alice and Andrew discussed re:publica, and particularly this talk by Miriam Seyffarth on “E-bracelets and the Digitization of the Pilgrimage to Mecca“.

Police use open source database to find the Golden State Killer

Police used genealogy sites to match DNA of Golden State Killer suspect by Olivia Solon

How a Genealogy Website Led to the Alleged Golden State Killer by Sarah Zhang

America’s Next Top Model

I was rooting for you, we were all rooting for you! – Long Live Tyra Banks

Misleading juries

Juries Don’t Understand Eyewitness Testimony by Elizabeth F. Loftus

Just what is Open Source?

Good question. Here’s the wiki.

Be nice and spread the word about TWAAATS 🙂

We’re pretty needy. We like to be listened to. And we love to listen to your views. We LOVE it when you email us. It helps us make a better podcast. And it fulfils our neediness.

Contact Alice here, and contact Andrew here. These are our Twitters: @alicelthwaite and @agstrait.

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Anonymity, Identity and Bots

Anonymity, Identity and Bots

Social media accounts should be attached to people and not bots. But how do we ensure that these verification processes are not discriminatory? Should we allow some people to be anonymous when discussing politics if revealing their identity could put them in danger?

Alice Thwaite and Andrew Strait are joined on this episode by Bethan Charnley, a colleague at the OII who is looking at digital identity.

Key links discussed in the podcast

Jena Friedman’s Twitter can be found here.

No one knows you’re a dog cartoon…

And the 2018 version…

‘You have one identity’: performing the self on Facebook and LinkedIn by José van Dijck

Our favourite man Mark Zuckerberg on digital identity as analysed by Mark Zimmer: Facebook’s Zuckerberg: “Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity”

We talked about Onomastic Theory. Bethan recommends this book for an introduction: Names and Naming.

Tell your friends about us

We’re pretty needy. We like to be listened to. And we love to listen to your views. We LOVE it when you email us. It helps us make a better podcast. And it fulfils our neediness.

Contact Alice here, and contact Andrew here. These are our Twitters: @alicelthwaite and @agstrait.

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The Perfect Platform Business Model

The Perfect Platform Business Model

Hello fellow TWAAATS. Big news this week – we finally got an acronym that works for the podcast. (Not an anacronym, as I (Alice) keep saying both out loud and written down. TALKING WITH ALICE and ANDREW ABOUT TECH SHIT. Thank you to super fan Jonny for taking the time out to creatively think on our behalf.

Other big news – we’ve had another tech glitch where we (ANDREW) forgot to record the podcast through the massive microphone sat between the both of us and instead we recorded through the computer mic. So the sound may not be great. But it’s better to have a good discussion and bad tech than excellent tech and vapid content. Right? Right. Also, I’m just waiting for the day when the website crashes and I’m hoping that Andrew will be forgiving. So lets all practice forgiveness.

No guest this week. Andrew and I talk about what we’d like to see from a platform business model. Here are a couple of key links.

The Perfect Platform Business Model links to check out

Wild Wild Country on Netflix. My god. Watch it. We can’t link to it directly here because Netflix won’t let you. But watch it.

We mentioned Peter Thiel. Here is his Wikipedia page. Here is something the Echo Chamber Club curated about how Peter Thiel defends large monopolies.

Hooked by Nir Eyal is a book explaining how to create addictive apps.

Andrew mentioned an app which isn’t addictive. Check out a couple of options here: “Limit your screen time with these six apps for iPhone and Android”

We talked about the ‘guru’ James Williams. Go follow him on Twitter: @WilliamsJames_ And whilst you’re at it. Follow us too.

Tell your friends about us

We’re pretty needy. We like to be listened to. And we love to listen to your views. We LOVE it when you email us. It helps us make a better podcast. And it fulfils our neediness.

Contact Alice here, and contact Andrew here. These are our Twitters: @alicelthwaite and @dopeapotamus.

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The Social Contract Between Us, Our Data and Others

Last week Mark Zuckerberg testified to Congress in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Senators and representatives were curious about future platform regulation as well as the diversity of Facebook leadership and employees. However, a general theme emerged about how Facebook uses data created by Facebook users and non-Facebook users. Who owns this data? Is it right that we should give up our privacy to Facebook in return for a network?

Alice Thwaite and Andrew Strait are joined by Kaveh Azarhoosh this episode. Kaveh is an expert in Iranian politics, a specialist in Trade Unions and a fellow colleague at the Oxford Internet Institute.

We didn’t really base this discussion on a set of articles, but rather what we’d seen as part of the Zuckerberg hearings. For an overview please see:

The key moments from Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony to Congress by Chloe Watson in the Guardian

Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook investigating Cambridge University researchers by Margi Murphy in the Telegraph

And to do some blatant self-promotion here were my (Alice) top picks on evaluating the debate…

Just see how many people have liked that selection… don’t ever say that I’m not influential!!

Surveillance Capitalism

Kaveh mentioned the author Shoshana Zuboff. Here’s his pick of her writing on Surveillance Capitalism.

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Contact Alice here, and contact Andrew here. If you’re on Twitter we’re at @alicelthwaite and @dopeapotamus. Kaveh’s Twitter is @KAzarhoosh.

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Civic Tech: Creating “Smart” Cities

Civic Tech: Creating "Smart" Cities

The TWAAATS, Alice Thwaite and Andrew Strait are joined by Erin Simpson this week. Erin is founding director of Civic Hall Labs. So we thought it was the perfect opportunity to chat about issues in Civic Tech. This episode was a little tricky for us sound-wise because Alice was ill and contagious and so had to speak with her pals on Skype. We’ll figure out how to do this better in the future.

Palantir and New Orleans

Palantir Has Secretly Been Using New Orleans To Test Its Predictive Policing Technology

Toronto and Sidewalk Labs (e.g. Google)

Google’s Guinea Pig City

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Contact Alice here, and contact Andrew here. If you’re on Twitter we’re at @alicelthwaite and @dopeapotamus. Erin’s Twitter is @esmpsn.

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Please give us 5⭐ on iTunes and tell all your friends to listen to our amazing podcast.

Should Platforms Police Trafficking?

Should Platforms Police Trafficking?

More and more regulators believe that platforms like Facebook and Google should take responsibility for the content that appears on their platforms. But is it irresponsible for states to give policing power to platforms? And what repercussions could this have for free speech? Alice Thwaite and Andrew Strait discuss the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act – one of only a few acts to get through the Senate that has support from both Republican and Democrat parties.

Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act Info

Sex Trafficking Bill Heads to Trump, Over Silicon Valley Concerns by Cecelia Kang and Sheryl Gay Stolberg in The New York Times

Does Intermediary Immunity Keep the Rest of Us Healthy? by Jonathan Zittrain in The Recorder

A movie about online sex-trafficking might actually get laws changed by Johnathan Anderson in The Washington Post

People We Referenced

Rasmus Kleis Nielson on the Power of Platforms – his Twitter is here – his website is here – and annoyingly I can’t find an article he’s written on the Power of Platforms. But apparently, he has a book coming out soon.

danah boyd’s – It’s Complicated – (non-affiliate Amazon link)

Carl Miller’s Twitter can be found here.

Real-life Accounts of Content Filtering

The Worst Job at Google: A Year of Watching Beastiality, Child Pornography, and Other Terrible Internet Things by Kyle Wagner in Gizmodo

The Laborers Who Keep Dick Pics and Beheadings Out of Your Facebook Feed by Adrian Chen in Wired

Gore, Porn, and Unspeakable Acts on Dead Bears: My Awful Life as the Internet’s Janitor by Lucas Peterson in GQ

Please talk to us and tell people about us and subscribe to us!

Contact Alice here, and contact Andrew here. If you’re on Twitter we’re at @alicelthwaite and @dopeapotamus.

Subscribe now on iTunes here

Subscribe now on Acast here

Please give us 5⭐ on iTunes and tell all your friends to listen to our amazing podcast.

Finally Dungeons and Dragons…

So Gary Gygax’s biography can be found here. What a hero!