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Donia Human Rights Center Lecture. Beyond Privacy: Emerging Rights Challenges in the Age of Big Data

Dr. Bama Athreya, Economic Inequality Fellow, Open Society Foundations; Commentator: Ravi Anupindi, Colonel William G. and Ann C. Svetlich Professor of Operations Research and Management, University of Michigan
Thursday, February 10, 2022
4:15-6:00 PM
Room 1010 (and virtual) Weiser Hall Map
This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required if you intend to participate virtually. Once you've registered, the joining information will be sent to your email. Register at:

Our human rights architecture may be inadequate to address emerging moral and ethical challenges in the digital age. Widespread surveillance has enabled corporations and governments to amass vast amounts of data on those who engage platforms as workers or end-users, and there are few guardrails on how that data can be used. Digital rights advocates have rightly focused on the challenge of protecting individual privacy, however to date, an effective collective action approach has been absent. Debates around the regulation of gig worker rights have led to vastly diverging legal and regulatory responses in the European Union, China, and United States. In all contexts, however, there is a useful emerging perspective on the need to think beyond privacy rights and toward collective rights to govern the decisions and decision makers behind the choices on how data is used.

Dr. Bama Athreya is an expert on international labor issues, gender and social inclusion, and business and human rights. She is an Economic Inequality Fellow at Open Society Foundations and an advisor to Laudes Foundation, and the host of The Gig Podcast. She previously served as USAID’s Senior Specialist for Labor, Gender and Social Inclusion, where she developed new programming to address labor rights, counter human trafficking, and promote women’s economic inclusion and was a principal point of contact on Business and Human Rights. She has also worked for Solidarity Center, International Labor Rights Forum and Fontheim International. She has developed and led multi-stakeholder initiatives with global corporations on labor compliance, and has worked and written extensively on labor and gender in US trade policy. She served as one of the founding Board members of the Sweatfree Purchasing Consortium, an entity serving state and city governments in the United States who have adopted legislative or executive commitments to ethical procurement. She is on the Board of Directors of Green America, Advisory Board for Worker Info Exchange, affiliated as a Fellow with Just Jobs Network, and a regular contributor to She recently served on the Biden-Harris Transition team, providing expertise on gender, equity and inclusion issues. She holds a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of Michigan.

Ravi Anupindi is the Colonel William G. and Ann C. Svetlich Professor of Operations Research and Management at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

If there is anything we can do to make this event accessible to you, please contact us at Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the university to arrange.
Building: Weiser Hall
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Human Rights
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Donia Human Rights Center, International Institute