Surveillance and Digital Personhood ;

With incredible technology (used for monetary gain or governance purposes), a person's entire life can be easily recorded and stored. Not only does this raise serious and legitimate questions about constitutionality, it also has massive reammifactions for any individual's ability to grow, and for an individual's general right to personhood.

The IDH's Privacy initiative calls attention to the intrusion upon the private lives of a person's post-digital life.



"Surveillance and Digital Personhood"

Because privacy is an issue that affects all, the IDH focuses on both "top-down" perspectives on privacy (focusing on legislation and national level curricula) as well as individual and local perspectives (through community engagement and education

Privacy Victories

  • The IDH's advocacy efforts, along with other advocacy organizations and community efforts, helped ban facial recognition software use in the MPD, scoring a victory for individual privacy. Read more here
  • Much of the IDH's digital ethics curriculum covers issues of privacy, including our partnerships with Coded Bias and the ADL
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June 2021:
IDH Partners With Netflix’s Coded Bias on High School Curriculum


Why you should care about privacy

If you have ever felt that you’re being watched… It’s because you are. Technology has integrated so deeply into our lifestyle that it’s difficult to go anywhere without at least one device capturing your every move. Devices are abundant in our world: they’re in the stores where we shop, beside the roads we drive, in the airports we use, and so on.
But the device that surveils you the most is the one that goes in your pocket every morning.
Not only are we constantly being captured on video, but what we watch, hear, search, buy, sell, browse or otherwise consume is also recorded and cataloged. We reflect almost every thought and emotion into our devices. Our phones alone remember what we like to eat most, what we want to watch based on our mood, what we want to buy in the future, who our favorite people are, how often we visit the dentist, and where we like to keep the thermostat.
We willingly give up our privacy every time we skim through the “Terms of Use” for every app or service and click “Accept.” But what if there is a way to regulate how Big Tech uses your data? What if our privacy could be protected?
That’s what the IDH fights for.


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Surveillance & Privacy

Surveillance happens all around us. How do you think Google knows what to show on your feed? How does Alexa know what to suggest for your grocery list? How does Amazon decide what “deals” to show you on their front page? Every data point that you allow a device to collect gets stored, remembered, and used later on, under the guise of simply making your life easier, and that’s all they use it for, right?


We’ve started to see all of this surveillance being used for less benevolent purposes: Employers can spy on their employees outside of work; schools can monitor students’ home life, and certain authorities are able to access public and private security networks under the guise of crime prevention. We’ve been given a false sense of security about how much we’re surveilled.

How can we be the “land of the free” if we’re being watched even in our own living rooms?

How is data gathered, and what are 3rd Party Data Sales?