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The Right to Repair: Struggles Over Digital Tools and Consumer Rights
Big Data at the Margins is pleased to present:

The Right to Repair: Struggles Over Digital Tools and Consumer Rights
Featuring: Frank Pasquale, Steven J. Jackson & Alissa Centivany
7 October 2021, 7:00PM

Why has it become so difficult to fix our things? What happens to our environment, economy, and culture when repairing our things becomes unappealing or impossible? What would robust and comprehensive provisions supporting repair look like, and how would such protections help our planet, our communities, our wallets, and our senses of self?

The fourth event in our series examines the challenges and opportunities situated around the right to repair movement. Increasingly, technology design is guided by private interests that are incompatible with repair. Businesses prioritize sales over repair and create disincentives that make repair inconvenient and expensive. Intellectual property and other laws and policies control activities of repair that previously have been commonplace. Manufacturers devise and sell products that appropriate our personal data and deprive us of information about how the product works, how it breaks, and how it can be fixed. Impediments to repair affect virtually all industries and sectors, including agriculture, health care, defense, and consumer goods. In the face of these developments, numerous consumer movements have arisen to claim the right to repair their technologies. They argue that an ethos of repair reduces the damage caused to the environment and human health wrought by our culture of consumption and waste; fosters the growth of secondary markets and support for local skilled repair workers; and encourages curiosity, problem-solving, and creativity. When we work with others to fix things, we build communities and systems of mutual support.

Big Data at the Margins is funded with the assistance of the Faculty of Information & Media Studies, Western Research, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Oct 7, 2021 07:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Alissa Centivany
Alissa Centivany is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario. Her work explores processes of sociotechnical transformation and, in particular, the co-evolution of technology, intellectual property law, social practice, and ethics. She earned her PhD in 2016 from the University of Michigan's School of Information and also holds a JD specializing in intellectual property and technology law. Prior to joining FIMS, she was the inaugural Microsoft Research Fellow at the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology at the University of California-Berkeley School of Law and a researcher at the Centre for Innovation Law and Policy at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Law.
Steven J. Jackson
Steven J. Jackson is Associate Professor of Information Science and Science and Technology Studies and Chair of Information Science at Cornell University. His work centers on questions of value and power in contemporary technoscience, with special emphasis on problems of time, infrastructure, maintenance, repair, and hope in complex sociotechnical systems. Current empirical projects include work on computational development and infrastructural change in the sciences; ethics, law, and policy in emerging media environments; collaboration, creativity, and improvisation in science, music, and new media arts; and problems of computation and social change in postcolonial environments. His work has been supported by the Ford Foundation, the World Bank, Intel Research, and the U.S. National Science Foundation. For more information, see https://sjackson.infosci .cornell.edu.
Frank Pasquale
​Frank Pasquale is an expert on the law of artificial intelligence (AI), algorithms, and machine learning. He is a Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School. He has also served as the Piper & Marbury Professor of Law at the University of Maryland, and the Schering-Plough Professor of Health Care Regulation & Enforcement at Seton Hall University Pasquale’s book The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information (Harvard University Press, 2015) has been recognized internationally as a landmark study on information asymmetries. His latest book, New Laws of Robotics: Defending Human Expertise in the Age of AI (Harvard University Press, 2020) analyzes the law and policy influencing the adoption of AI in varied professional fields, including policing and military applications. Pasquale has also co-edited The Oxford Handbook of Ethics of AI (Oxford University Press 2020), has edited or co-edited three other books, and co-authored a casebook on Administrative Law.
Tom Streeter
Tom Streeter is a Professor in the Faculty of information and Media Studies at Western University, where he studies media, technology, law, and culture. He is the author of The Net Effect: Romanticism, Capitalism, and the Internet (NYU, 2011), Selling the Air (Chicago, 1996), and editor of Mousepads, Shoe Leather, and Hope (Paradigm, 2007).