Connecting the dots: Privacy, data, racial justice


  • Seda Gürses


  • Yasmine Boudiaf
  • Sarah Chander
  • Nakeema Stefflbauer
  • Nani Jansen Reventlow
  • Seeta Peña Gangadharan

Organisation: LSE

Room: Online 1

Timing: 16:00 - 17:15 on 27 January 2021

Historically, privacy advocates and data protection professionals envision privacy as a universal right. In practice, however, there are deep inequities in how privacy gets enforced, who can safeguard their privacy, and what privacy means for different populations. These inequities raise the question of whether a universalist framework befits the lived experience of many subgroups, especially members of marginalized communities. In this provocative panel, we ask how would an inclusive, collective vision of privacy look? A diverse group of practitioners, scholars, and advocates will put privacy and data protection in conversation with issues of racial injustice, migration control, and structural exclusion, exploring the exceptionalism, the excluded, and the exploitative nature of privacy discourse and practice in Europe.

• When and why do privacy and data protection intersect with racial justice? When do they not?
• How are privacy rights and wrongs maldistributed? And with what effect?
• Are surveillance capitalists better positioned to support racial justice efforts than digital rights advocates?
• What or who needs to change in the current configuration in the realm of privacy and data protection in order to advance racial justice?


Seda Gürses

TU Delft (NL)

Seda is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Multi-Actor Systems at TU Delft at the Faculty of Technology Policy and Management, and an affiliate at the COSIC Group at the Department of Electrical Engineering (ESAT), KU Leuven. Her work focuses on privacy enhancing and protective optimization technologies (PETs and POTs), privacy engineering, as well as questions around software infrastructures, social justice and political economy as they intersect with computer science.


Yasmine Boudiaf

No Tech for Tyrants (UK)

Yasmine is a creative technologist and an artistic researcher based in the UK. For years she has developed technological interventions that challenge social perceptions and foster new relationships between humans and technology. Her projects involve rigorous research and manifest across different mediums, including VR, robotics, performance, code and film. Yasmine is currently a co-organiser with No Tech for Tyrants, as well as a visiting fellow at the Ada Lovelace institute, leading a creative research project as part of the JUST AI (Joining Up Society and Technology in AI) programme. She is also an artistic researcher at The Institute for Technology in the Public Interest, investigating tech infrastructures, drawing on trans*feminist, queer and anti-colonial perspectives.

Sarah Chander

European Digital Rights EDRi (BE)

Sarah devi Chander is Senior Policy Adviser at European Digital Rights (EDRi). She leads EDRi's policy work on AI and non-discrimination with respect to digital rights. She is interested making links between the digital and other social justice movements. Sarah has experience in racial and social justice, previously she worked in advocacy at the European Network Against Racism (ENAR), on a wide range of topics including anti-discrimination law and policy, intersectional justice, state racism, racial profiling and police brutality. She has a history organising in collectives for queer liberation and movements against immigration detention.

Nakeema Stefflbauer

FrauenLoop (DE)

Dr. Nakeema Stefflbauer is the founder of the FrauenLoop women’s programming non-profit and the network of racially diverse tech leaders in Europe. Dr. Stefflbauer writes and speaks about the impact of bias in artificial intelligence and venture capital on marginalized communities and on technology development in general. She has presented on AI impact at the European Parliament, as well as for various German research organizations.

Nani Jansen Reventlow

Digital Freedom Fund (DE)

Nani Jansen Reventlow is the founding Director of the Digital Freedom Fund, which supports partners in Europe to advance digital rights through strategic litigation. She is also the initiator of the Catalysts for Collaboration project, which offers best practices and case studies encouraging activists to collaborate across disciplinary silos and use strategic litigation in digital rights campaigns. Nani is a recognised international lawyer and expert in human rights litigation responsible for standard-setting freedom of expression cases across several national and international jurisdictions. She is a Lecturer in Law at Columbia Law School and Adjunct Professor at Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government. Nani tweets @InterwebzNani.

Seeta Peña Gangadharan

London School of Economics and Political Science (UK)

Dr. Seeta Peña Gangadharan is Associate Professor in the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her work focuses on inclusion, exclusion, and marginalization, as well as questions around democracy, social justice, and technological governance. She currently co-leads Our Data Bodies, which examines the impact of data collection and data-driven technologies on members of marginalized communities in the United States, and Justice, Equity, and Technology, which explores the impacts of data-driven technologies and infrastructures on European civil society. She is Affiliated Fellow of Yale Law School’s Information Society Project, and Affiliate Fellow of Data & Society Research Institute.