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Lets Talk Privacy

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Dear All, 

We are excited to announce the release of Project Let’s Talk Privacy, a research initiative hosted by MIT’s Center for Civic Media exploring how implementation of privacy and data governance policies might impact people and communities in practice. “Let’s Talk Privacy” reflects our work in engaging a more diverse set of voices into conversations around privacy and data governance. How do these policies translate in practice? How they might affect us? 

To find out, we interviewed 41 people – including lawyers, designers, engineers, advocates, policymakers, and stewards of sensitive data (social workers, pediatricians) – about three draft data and privacy related bills: The Social Media Addiction Reduction Technology (SMART) ActThe Online Privacy Act (OPA), and The Consumer Online Privacy Rights Act (COPRA).

Our key recommendation is to implement human-centered practices in the policy design process: Broaden engagement with industry practitioners, test policy prototyping processes in small, low-risk environments, and continuously integrate feedback throughout policy development. We approached this through a 7-step prototyping policy guide which can be found here:

We will be hosting a series of follow-up events and sessions to discuss the research in more detail. Please join us for an upcoming webinar hosted by University of Florida’s Center for Public Interest Communications and The Consortium on Trust in Media & Technology called “Policy Prototyping as cultivating trust through political engagement.” Click here to RSVP for this and any upcoming events.

Questions? Feedback? Ideas for collaboration? We welcome your thoughts and would like to hear from you—please leave us a note at [email protected]. Please visit the Let’s Talk Privacy website which goes into great detail about our research and check out our research page to download our reports and Policy Prototyping Guide. We would appreciate your help in spreading the word and sharing this initiative.