Big Data, Not Big Brother: Digital Media Analytics in a New Age of Data Protection

replay Event

Thursday, June 6
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. EDT
(Light refreshments served 3:00-3:15)

National Endowment for Democracy
1025 F Street NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20004

Ayden Férdeline, Tech Policy Fellow, Mozilla Foundation
Nathalie Maréchal, Senior Research Analyst, Ranking Digital Rights
Danilo Bakovic, Project Director, IREX

Daniel O’Maley, Deputy Editor and Digital Policy Specialist, Center for International Media Assistance

Event Description:

For years, the road to news media financial sustainability was said to be paved with data, and digital news outlets were counseled to collect as many details about their readers as possible in order to deliver more relevant content and support more lucrative, targeted advertising. Yet, more recently, citizens and policymakers alike have grown concerned about the pervasive tracking of web users, which often happens without their knowledge or consent. This has led to a new wave of data protection laws and regulations worldwide that seek to empower audiences and curtail the excessive collection of personal data.

Caught in the middle of this are small, independent news outlets, many of which have enabled third-party tracking mechanisms on their sites for a variety of legitimate reasons. New analysis of 50 small, independent news websites in 10 developing countries, soon-to-be-released in a CIMA report by Ayden Férdeline, show that many entail trackers sending personal information to third parties without a web visitor’s knowledge or consent. In an era of growing awareness of the need to protect user data and privacy, what can independent media do to ensure the safety of their readers?