Abstract

From the methods and techniques that generate the granular data used by scientists, statisticians and developers to the narratives composed by the media and governments which frame them, the forum examines the opportunities and problems arising from the development of technologies that continue to open unprecedented possibilities for knowledge and influence.

Ranging over areas including mass data and data-analytics, their use and safeguards, privacy and data rights, the commercial use of data by marketing, media institutions and big business, as well as the meaning of limits or lack of limits to access for security agencies and government, surveillance, fake news, and the benefits, pitfalls and future of artificial intelligence, each year the forum gathers the most brilliant and influential minds from around the world to address the implications of data and knowledge technologies in all of their complexity.

Encouraging technological and intellectual innovation and collaboration between the worlds of research, business, media, government and investment, and emphasising the quality and integrity of the human lives they ground, the World Ethical Data Forum invites participants to enter and define the most crucial discussion of our time.

WEDF 2018

The first World Ethical Data Forum took place in Barcelona in September 2018 and was covered globally by major national news outlets including News.com.au, the Daily Mail, The Guardian, Russia Today, Ruptly, MSNBC, Business Insider, New American, CNN Greece, The Australian Herald, The Courier Mail, and Wall Street Italia. 

The event also featured in a documentary by La Kaseta, called “Battle of Social Networks,” which looked at three different modern-day moments of great social upheaval in which social media has played a significant role: The Occupy Movement, The Arab Spring, and The Catalan Referendum. 

The Forum showcased headline speakers including National Inventors Hall of Fame and National Cybersecurity Hall of Fame inductee Dr. Ralph Merkle; scientist, inventor, New York Times bestselling author and advisor to Nasa’s Innovative & Advanced Concepts program Dr. David Brin; former intelligence officer of the UK’s Security Service MI5, writer, media commentator and international public speaker Annie Machon; human rights lawyer and WikiLeaks counsel Jennifer Robinson; and Wikileaks Editor in Chief Julian Assange, the video of which interview the Forum broadcast as it was shown, causing a media frenzy that resulted in 2.4  million views across YouTube alone in a single week. 

Against the background of the many urgent and related issues in media and politics that continue to dominate headlines globally, the next World Ethical Data Forum will be held digitally. Read about WEDF and reserve your place here.

Development Blog

The World Ethical Data Foundation is currently inviting technology and research partnerships for this project. Please contact us if you, your organisation, institution, or company would like to participate.