• Rhetoric in Law and Politics – TikTok and Tech Talk: Law & Politics of Big Data, Privacy, and Machine Learning

    166 001 | Session C | CCN: 13928

    TikTok and Tech Talk: Law & Politics of Big Data, Privacy, and Machine Learning

    Location: Online

    Date / Time: Tu/Th 4:00pm - 6:59pm

    4 Units

    Governments, corporations, and others now have the ability to gather, share, analyze, and use data about individuals in ways that were not previously possible due to advancements in computer processing, a growing reliance on online services and social networks, the low cost of digital storage, and a legal and regulatory framework still in flux.

    But what kind of data is being collected, how, by whom, and why? Should we care, and, if so, about what and why? What are the social and political implications of these economic and technological developments, and is there a need for legal safeguards and state regulation? How do notions of privacy, autonomy, equity, transparency, and power inform discussion of these issues? How have various actors identified benefits or harms related to these developments, and what legal and political responses have they proposed? How are race and gender implicated?

    This course will examine the rhetoric of law and politics in connection with “Big Data,” touching both on the collection of data as well as its use in algorithmic/automated decision-making and machine learning. We will consider the roots of the concept of privacy in American jurisprudence, and how it has shifted over time in response to social and economic developments. We will consider how machine learning works as a technical matter, and will evaluate the normative claims (implicit or otherwise) and real-world consequences associated with its deployment in various contexts. We will look at real-world lawsuits to understand how courts have been called upon to respond to this new reality, and we will study political and legal proposals advanced by corporations, social movements, and scholars regarding these topics. We will study proponents and critics of the concept of “ethics” in AI, and related debates about gender and racial equity in this context.

    Students from diverse backgrounds and fields of study, including both humanities and STEM majors, are encouraged to enroll to enrich our classroom discussions with different perspectives. The course will be guided by a practicing lawyer with experience in privacy-related litigation. No science or technical background is necessary to take this course.