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Responsible AI Adoption Framework in Philanthropy: An Initial Framework for Grantmakers

December 6, 2023

As society grapples with the increasing prevalence of AI tools, this framework addresses the need for grantmakers to adopt AI in alignment with their core values. It emphasizes the responsibility of philanthropic organizations to ensure that the usage of AI enables human flourishing, minimizes risk, and maximizes benefit. Beyond AI adoption, the framework also calls for foundations to play a crucial role in advancing the responsible use of AI for nonprofit enablement.

Data Science, AI and Data Philanthropy in Foundations : On the Path to Maturity

February 14, 2024

This research explores the data-related initiatives currently undertaken by a pool of foundations from across Europe. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first study that has investigated the level of data work within philanthropic foundations, even though the rise of data and its importance has increasingly been recognised in the non-profit sector. Given that this is an inaugural piece of research, the study takes an exploratory approach, prioritising a comprehensive survey of data practices foundations are currently implementing or exploring. The goal was to obtain a snapshot of the current level of maturity and commitment of foundations regarding data-related matters.

Legal mechanisms and environmental data governance: Questions to start the conversation

January 17, 2024

Currently, formal legal mechanisms are not widely used by data stewards who collect, use, and share community-generated environmental data. There are often barriers to their application: since these tools are still emerging and newly used in this space, there are not many case studies to learn from, or tools to spur collaboration. It can be costly to hire legal support, and without examples of existing proofs of concept, it can be difficult to justify the financial cost. Yet the applications of legal mechanisms could be hugely beneficial for projects using and sharing community-generated environmental data. These legal mechanisms and tools can support safer and easier sharing of data, which in turn, could support movement toward advocacy, research, or sensemaking goals.This list is designed to facilitate the start of conversations between stakeholders in any community science or data project about the use of legal mechanisms to support environmental data sharing. This list is also designed for data projects who want to reflect on if and how  to use legal mechanisms to support data sharing and management. 

Teens, Social Media and Technology 2023: YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram remain the most widely used online platforms among U.S. teens

December 11, 2023

Pew Research Center conducted this study to better understand teens' use of digital devices, social media and other online platforms.The Center conducted an online survey of 1,453 U.S. teens from Sept. 26 to Oct. 23, 2023, through Ipsos. Ipsos recruited the teens via their parents, who were part of its KnowledgePanel. The KnowledgePanel is a probability-based web panel recruited primarily through national, random sampling of residential addresses. The survey was weighted to be representative of U.S. teens ages 13 to 17 who live with their parents by age, gender, race and ethnicity, household income, and other categories.This research was reviewed and approved by an external institutional review board (IRB), Advarra, an independent committee of experts specializing in helping to protect the rights of research participants.

Beyond Compliance: Preliminary Findings from an Investigation of Climate and Flooding Data Systems in the United States

December 6, 2023

Government agencies and researchers in the United States have collected and shared environmental and climate data for decades in an effort to understand how climate change is impacting our communities, infrastructures, industries, and ecosystems. Much of this data is open in theory; many datasets maintained by federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are required to make their data publicly available and usable.But large gaps in available data and granularity issues prevent meaningful public use. Other sources—municipal governments, university researchers, and community data collection projects—can help fill data gaps. Still, these sources face their own challenges, such as unclear licensing agreements, limited resources or technical capacity, as well as equity concerns (including data collection procedures that result in poorer quality data regarding low income neighborhoods).Modernizing this data infrastructure, as well as channels for integrating information from different sources, can support actors both within and outside of government to use this wealth of data for a variety of purposes.As part of the larger Beyond Compliance initiative, which aims to make government-derived environmental data more accessible and usable to a diversity of users and for a range of purposes, we are investigating challenges and opportunities related to data in the context of climate change resilience and adaptation planning.

Reproductive Rights and Justice Movement Leaders Respond to ‘Big Tech’ Suppression of Accurate Abortion Information

October 26, 2023

Content suppression was, and remains, a deeply problematic issue in a world increasingly hostile to abortion, and big tech is part of the problem. While organizations and individuals in the abortion rights space are finding ways around the confusing maze of suppression to make sure their content is seen – like spelling it "aborti0n" – this raises questions as to how many are actually getting the information they need and how many are missing vital information to make decisions when posts are incorrectly removed and reinstated. Because abortion is a time-sensitive medical procedure, there is no time to waste, and tech companies should have had a plan for the post-Roe world long ago. We demand they catch up.Our report details the data collected on online anti-abortion disinformation, digital suppression and removal of accurate abortion content, and demands of the reproductive health, rights, and justice community to improve the online space for abortion seekers and health care communicators.

Governing the Digital Future

October 4, 2023

This report is part of a multiyear project undertaken by New America's Planetary Politics initiative on the geopolitics and global governance of the digital domain. The report analyzes divides and debates in key digital issue areas, maps the state of the global digital governance landscape, and identifies priorities for global action. The analysis draws on a review of the literature and a series of consultations and workshops held from January through June 2023. It is especially informed by the insights of the Digital Futures Task Force, an international, multidisciplinary group of researchers, technologists, and policymakers that convened at New America's Washington, DC, office for intensive discussions on these issues.

EFF 2022 Annual Report

October 4, 2023

From local to international policy fronts, EFF's advocacy got results in 2022. In the European Union, we lobbied hard for a Digital Markets Act that recognized the value of interoperability and meaningfully restrained the power of "gatekeeper" platforms. Sustained pressure from EFF, our members, and our allies helped protect free expression online by keeping Congress from mandating filters or link taxes. EFF also was instrumental in Congress passing the Safe Connections Act, a bill that makes it easier for survivors of domestic violence to keep their phone number while leaving a family plan. This simple protection can be essential to stopping abusers from using access to their victims' cellphone plans to track and harass.

Digital Dystopia: The Danger in Buying What the EdTech Surveillance Industry is Selling

October 2, 2023

Over the last two decades, a segment of the educational technology (EdTech) sector that markets student surveillance products to schools — the EdTech Surveillance industry — has grown into a $3.1 billion a year economic juggernaut with a projected 8% annual growth rate. The EdTech Surveillance industry accomplished that feat by playing on school districts' fears of school shootings, student self-harm and suicides, and bullying — marketing them as common, ever-present threats.Education officials and school administrators play a vital role in determining how best to keep students safe. But as long as school districts continue to make decisions based on information provided by the very same companies that are seeking to sell schools their EdTech Surveillance products, the EdTech Surveillance industry, and not their students, will be the biggest beneficiary."Digital Dystopia" is meant to equip school decisionmakers, influencers, and community members with the full and reliable information they need to make the best decisions possible when it comes to student surveillance technologies and keeping students safe.

Democratizing AI: Principles for Meaningful Public Participation

September 27, 2023

Even as AI presents technical and engineering innovations, the systems present fundamental risks to people, their families, and their communities. Public participation in AI will not be easy. But there are foundational lessons to apply from other domains. This policy brief builds on a comprehensive review of evidence from public participation efforts in policy domains such as anti-poverty programs and environmental policy. It summarizes evidence-based recommendations for ways to better structure public participation processes for AI.

The Forgotten “Emerging” Technology: The Metaverse and Its Cybersecurity Implications

September 25, 2023

The widespread deployment of 5G devices in the United States will spur widespread use of augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality applications—collectively known as extended reality. The over-commercialization of the term "metaverse" has impeded honest conversations about the implications of an insecure metaverse and the technologies associated with it. While these applications and devices will bring significant benefits, they will be accompanied by numerous cybersecurity challenges. As a result, U.S. policymakers run afoul of repeating past mistakes: failing to secure technology before it ushers in a new era of national security concerns. The U.S. government must work closely with industry, academia, nonprofits, and international partners to begin thinking about these consequential issues.

Designing Governance Tools for Agricultural and Environmental Data

September 14, 2023

Open Environmental Data Project (OEDP)'s Environmental Dataset Re-Mix Workshops work on existing environmental datasets and data governance tools, articulating redesigns that make them usable to lay audiences, reusable to public needs, and inclusive of cultural knowledge within participants' communities.On April 4, 2023, OEDP co-hosted a Dataset Re-Mix Workshop with OpenTEAM, where we examined the development of data governance tools for both agricultural and environmental data. We mainly focused on drawing comparisons and contrasts between OpenTEAM's Ag Data Wallet and OEDP's Community Data Hubs model. This synthesis documents the key learnings from the Dataset Re-Mix Workshop.