Protecting Citizens Online – invitation to workshop

Venue: London; TBD

Internet connected devices and online platforms are now a key part of daily life for most UK citizens dominating social and business interactions. There is, however, a growing body of evidence of serious social, economic, or physical harm caused by use of digitally-derived data and information in the wrong hands. These ‘on-line harms’ include privacy abuses, data breeches, cyber-attacks and inappropriate uses of personal data; malign influence and disinformation; online fraud and crime; fake identity; hate crime; and advocacy of self-harm/suicide. 

The need to tackle the negative consequences of being online for individuals, for social cohesion and for democratic society, has been recognised in the Online Harms White Paper published in April 2019. 

We wish to encourage research to reduce these harms and this requires better understanding of three elements:

  1. the technology mitigations possible
  2. the complex social environment in which they are operating
  3. the behaviours and modus operandi of those causing harm 

At the core of this challenge is understanding a human phenomenon that is technically mediated. Therefore a truly interdisciplinary and inclusive approach is needed. Crucially, this requires interdisciplinary research, which spans technical and social sciences, law and ethics (hence across the remits of EPSRC, ESRC and AHRC). 

Further information and registration details are available here.