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CITP/UN Conference – Social Protection by Artificial Intelligence: Decoding Human Rights in a Digital Age

Friday, April 12, 2019
9:00 am - 5:30 pm


Maeder Hall
Maeder Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544 United States
+ Google Map

Panel 1: The Human Right to Social Protection

Panel 2: The Human Right to an Effective Remedy

Governments around the world are increasingly investing in the development and use of Artificial Intelligence and other digital technologies to govern. As most modern states spend a significant proportion of their annual budget and gross domestic product on social protection policies, it is not surprising that social protection systems are and will be at the forefront of digital innovation by governments given the political focus on cost-cutting and efficiency in many countries. Welfare bureaucracies are typically the part of the state apparatus with the most regular and extensive interaction with a significant part of the population, meaning that innovation in this area is likely to have a direct impact on the human rights of many. There has been surprisingly little systematic research of the human rights implications of technological change in the area of social protection given the fact that human rights are both relevant and important in the context of social protection systems. This is especially (although not exclusively) the case for those who are poor, vulnerable and subject to discrimination. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Prof. Philip Alston, is preparing a thematic report on these issues to the United Nations General Assembly in the fall of 2019. As part of the consultation process for this report, the Special Rapporteur is co-organizing this conference with the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University.

Date: Friday, April 12, 2019
Time: 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Location: Maeder Hall – Auditorium, enter Maeder Hall near the corner of Prospect Avenue and Olden Street

8:30 a.m. – Continental breakfast

9:00 a.m. – Welcome

9:15 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. – Opening remarks: Ed Felten, Princeton University

9:45 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. – Framing speech: Philip Alston, New York University, United Nations

10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. – Panel 1: The Human Right to Social Protection

  • Virginia Eubanks, State University of New York, Albany
  • Marc Fleurbaey, Princeton University
  • Hibah Kamal-Grayson, Google
  • Scarlet Wilcock, University of Wollongong

11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. – Breakout session 1: The Human Right to Social Protection


  • Virginia Eubanks, State University of New York, Albany
  • Marc Fleurbaey, Princeton University
  • Hibah Kamal-Grayson, Google
  • Scarlet Wilcock, University of Wollongong

12:45 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. – Lunch

1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. – Panel 2: The Human Right to an Effective Remedy


  • Cary Coglianese,University of Pennsylvania
  • Lina Dencik, University of Cardiff
  • Jennifer Raso, University of Alberta
  • Robert Spano, European Court of Human Rights

2:45 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. – Breakout Session 2: The Human Right to an Effective Remedy


  • Cary Coglianese,University of Pennsylvania
  • Lina Dencik, University of Cardiff
  • Jennifer Raso, University of Alberta
  • Robert Spano, European Court of Human Rights

4:15 p.m. – 4:40 p.m. – Break

4:40 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. – Plenary closing session


  • Ben Zevenbergen, Princeton University
  • Christiaan van Veen, New York University, School of Law

Philip Alston

Philip Alston is the John Norton Pomeroy Professor of Law at New York University. He teaches international law, international criminal law, and a range of human rights subjects. He has degrees in law and economics from the University of Melbourne and a JSD from Berkeley. He previously taught at the European University Institute, the Australian National University, Harvard Law School, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He was one of the founders of both the European and the Australian and New Zealand societies of international law and was editor-in-chief of the European Journal of International Law from 1996 through 2007. In 2014, he was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council as its Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. From 2004 to 2010, he was UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, undertaking official missions to Sri Lanka, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Philippines, Israel, Lebanon, Albania, Kenya, Brazil, Central African Republic, Afghanistan, and the United States. He has also been on the Independent International Commission on Kyrgyzstan (2011) and the UN Group of Experts on Darfur (2007) and served as Special Adviser to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the Millennium Development Goals (2002-07); chairperson (1991-98) and rapporteur (1987-91) of the UN Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights; and UNICEF’s Senior Legal Adviser on children’s rights (1986-92).

Cary Coglianese

Cary Coglianese is the Edward B. Shils Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, where he currently serves as the director of the Penn Program on Regulation and has served as the law school’s Deputy Dean for Academic Affairs. He specializes in the study of regulation and regulatory processes, with an emphasis on the empirical evaluation of alternative regulatory strategies and the role of public participation, negotiation, and business-government relations in policy making. His most recent books include: Achieving Regulatory Excellence; Does Regulation Kill Jobs?; Regulatory Breakdown: The Crisis of Confidence in U.S. Regulation; Import Safety: Regulatory Governance in the Global Economy; and Regulation and Regulatory Processes. Prior to joining Penn Law, Coglianese spent a dozen years on the faculty at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He also has taught as a visiting law professor at Stanford and Vanderbilt, founded the Law & Society Association’s international collaborative research network on regulatory governance, served as a founding editor of the peer-reviewed journal Regulation & Governance, and created and now advises the daily production of The Regulatory Review. The chair of the Administrative Conference of the United States’ committee on rulemaking, he has led a National Science Foundation initiative on e-rulemaking, served on the ABA’s task force on improving Regulations.Gov, and chaired a task force on transparency and public participation in the regulatory process that offered a blueprint to the Obama Administration on open government. He is a co-chair of the American Bar Association’s administrative law section committee on e-government, past co-chair of the section’s committee on rulemaking, and a past member of the section’s Council. He currently serves as a member of a committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine studying performance-based safety regulation and of an Aspen Institute dialogue on energy policy governance. He has served as a consultant to the Administrative Conference of the United States, Environment Canada, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Lina Dencik

Lina Dencik is Reader at Cardiff’s School of Journalism, Media and Culture and Co-Founder/Director of the Data Justice Lab. Her research concerns the interplay between media developments and social and political change, with a particular focus on resistance and globalisation. Recently, she has moved into the areas of digital surveillance and the politics of data and worked on the ESRC-funded project Digital Citizenship and Surveillance Society and the project Managing Threats: Social Media Uses for Policing Domestic Extremism and Disorder funded by the Media Democracy Fund, Ford Foundation and Open Society Foundations. Lina has recently been awarded a Starting Grant from the European Research Council and is currently working as Principal Investigator on the project DATAJUSTICE. With the Data Justice Lab, she is also working on two further projects, Data Scores as Governance funded by the Open Society Fondations and Data Policies funded by IDRC India (in collaboration with IT for Change). She is the author of four books including Media and Global Civil Society (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), Worker Resistance and Media: Challenging Global Corporate Power in the 21st Century (co-authored with Peter Wilkin, Peter Lang, 2015), and Critical Perspectives on Social Media and Protest: Between Emancipation and Control (co-edited with Oliver Leistert, Rowman & Littlefield International, 2015). Her fourth book (co-authored with Arne Hintz and Karin Wahl-Jorgensen) on Digital Citizenship in a Datafied Society is forthcoming with Polity Press. She holds a PhD from Goldsmiths, University of London and has previously worked at the Central European University in Budapest where she is still a Fellow with the Center for Media, Data and Society (CMDS). Prior to that she worked as a television producer/director at Brook Lapping Productions in London.

Virginia Eubanks

Virginia Eubanks is an associate professor of political science at the University at Albany, SUNY. She is the author of Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor; Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age; and co-editor, with Alethia Jones, of Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: Forty Years of Movement Building with Barbara Smith. Her writing about technology and social justice has appeared in Scientific American, The Nation, Harper’s, and Wired. For two decades, Eubanks has worked in community technology and economic justice movements. She was a founding member of the Our Data Bodies Project and a 2016-2017 Fellow at New America. She lives in Troy, NY.

Ed Felten

Ed Felten is the Robert E. Kahn Professor of Computer Science and Public Affairs; Director, Center for Information Technology Policy; Director, Program in Technology and Society, Information Technology Track. Ed served at the White House as the deputy U.S. chief technology officer from June 2015 to January 2017. Ed was also the first chief technologist for the Federal Trade Commission from January 2011 until September 2012. His research interests include computer security and privacy, and public policy issues relating to information technology. Specific topics include software security, Internet security, electronic voting, cybersecurity policy, technology for government transparency, network neutrality and Internet policy. Ed often blogs about technology and policy at Freedom to Tinker.

Marc Fleurbaey

Marc Fleurbaey is Robert E. Kuenne Professor in Economics and Humanistic Studies, Professor of Public Affairs and the University Center for Human Values. He has been an economist at INSEE (Paris), a professor of economics at the Universities of Cergy-Pontoise and Pau (France), and a research director at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in Paris. He has also been a Lachmann Fellow and a visiting professor at the London School of Economics, a research associate at the Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE, Louvain-la-Neuve) and the Institute for Public Economics (IDEP, Marseilles), and a visiting researcher at Oxford. He is a former editor of the journal Economics and Philosophy and as of 2012 is the coordinating editor of Social Choice and Welfare. He is the author of Fairness, Responsibility, and Welfare (2008), a co-author of Beyond GDP (with Didier Blanchet, 2013), A Theory of Fairness and Social Welfare (with François Maniquet, 2011), and the coeditor of several books, including Justice, Political Liberalism, and Utilitarianism: Themes from Harsanyi and Rawls (with Maurice Salles and John Weymark, 2008). His research on normative and public economics and theories of distributive justice has focused in particular on the analysis of equality of opportunity and responsibility-sensitive egalitarianism and on seeking solutions to famous impossibilities of social choice theory.

Hibah Kamal-Grayson

Hibah Kamal-Grayson is a public policy manager at Google, where she focuses on Internet governance and international policy issues. Previously, Hibah worked as a policy researcher at the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute and an account optimizer at Google. Hibah has also spent time at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society and the BBC’s Washington Bureau. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Carleton College, where she was heavily involved in campus radio and independent music. She also holds an M.Sc. with Distinction from the London School of Economics and Political Science, where she won the inaugural Interaction London/Polis prize for applied media research. Her research and publications on technology issues have been cited by FCC and White House reports and covered by the Washington Post, the New York Times, USA Today, Forbes, and more.

Jennifer Raso

Dr. Jennifer Raso is an assistant professor at the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Law investigating the relationship between discretion, data-driven technologies, and administrative law. She is particularly intrigued by how humans/non-humans collaborate and diverge as they produce institutional decisions, and the consequences of this hybrid arrangement for procedural fairness and substantive justice. This work builds on Dr. Raso’s doctoral research, which included a qualitative socio-legal study of how municipal caseworkers locate and use discretion to deliver the notoriously rule-bound Ontario Works program. An award-winning interdisciplinary scholar, her research has been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada) and the Endeavour Fellowships Program (Australia), and recognized by the Canadian Law and Society Association (best article prize, 2018) and the University of Cambridge (Richard Hart Prize, 2016). Before pursuing graduate studies, Dr. Raso litigated social welfare, administrative, and human rights matters with the City of Toronto’s Legal Services Division. Her scholarship appears in the Canadian Journal of Law and Society, the Journal of Law & Equality, and PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review.

Robert Spano

Scarlet Wilcock

Dr. Scarlet Wilcock joined UOW’s School of Law as a Lecturer in September 2017. Prior to joining UOW, Scarlet worked as a Teaching Fellow at the University of New South Wales’ (UNSW) Faculty of Law where she taught a number of courses including, Issues in Policing, Criminal Law and Introducing Law and Justice. She also held the position of Research Officer at the University of Sydney where she contributed to a research project led by Professors Gary Edmond and David Hamer documenting wrongful convictions in Australia. Scarlet recently completed her doctoral research at UNSW where she also completed her LLB (Hons 1)/BA (Hons 1) programme. Scarlet was admitted to legal practice in 2013 and has since worked in paid and volunteer positions in the community legal sector in both Victoria and NSW. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Welfare Rights Centre, Sydney.

Christiaan van Veen

Christiaan van Veen is the director of the Digital Welfare State project at the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at NYU Law. He is an international human rights lawyer, consultant for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and special advisor on new technologies and human rights to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. Prior to this, he was the senior advisor to the Special Rapporteur (2014-2018), covering all aspects of that mandate. He has undertaken human rights fact-finding missions to countries around the world, including China, Saudi Arabia, the United States, Mauritania, Romania, the United Kingdom and Chile. Christiaan previously worked as an attorney for a leading law firm in Amsterdam, focusing on telecoms regulation, antitrust law and media law (2008-2013). He also worked for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Commission on litigation before the Court of Justice of the European Union (2007-2008). Christiaan holds a Master’s degree in International and European Law from Utrecht University (cum laude) and a Master’s degree in International Legal Studies from NYU School of Law. He has been an NYU International Finance and Development Fellow at the World Bank Legal Vice Presidency.

Ben Zevenbergen

Ben Zevenbergen is a visiting professional specialist at CITP. His work mostly consists of multidisciplinary investigations in the ethical, social, and legal impacts of Internet technologies, and vice versa. At CITP Ben is working on the engineering ethics and political theory impacts of artificial intelligence. His position is supported by Princeton’s Univeristy Center for Human Values. Ben is currently finishing a Ph.D. at the Oxford Internet Institute about the research ethics for technical projects that involve unsuspecting Internet users as data subjects. Next to his doctoral work, Ben been working actively with computer scientists and network engineers to develop a set of guidelines of ethics in networked systems research. Before returning to academia, Ben was a policy advisor to a politician in the European Parliament, working on Europe’s Digital Agenda and other Internet policy. Previously, Ben worked as an ICT/IP lawyer and policy consultant in the Netherlands. Ben holds a degree in law, specializing in Information Law.


By Car

Find driving directions, campus maps, and parking information on the Princeton University website. If you park on campus, you probably will want to park in Lot 21 and take a Princeton shuttle to Maeder Hall. Shuttles may be tracked online or through a mobile app with TigerTracker. There are also metered parking spots and parking garages on campus and nearby in downtown Princeton. The closest parking is along Prospect Ave., you may also reference this parking map.

By Plane

The closest major airports are Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). Trenton-Mercer Airport (TTN) is also nearby but serves a limited number of routes, all flown by Frontier Airlines. Once you land, please follow the driving or train directions to reach Princeton.

By Train

The Princeton Junction is the closest major train stop and is on both the NJ Transit Northeast Corridor Line and the Amtrak Keystone Service and Northeast Regional. These lines all serve New York Penn Station and Newark Airport (if you are flying out of EWR, be sure to get a ticket to Newark Airport, not Newark Penn Station). They also connect to the SEPTA at Trenton Station, and you can take the SEPTA to Philadelphia or other parts of southeastern Pennsylvania. To reach the Princeton campus from Princeton Junction, you may take a 15-minute cab ride. It takes about two hours to travel from Princeton to Philadephia, New York Penn Station, or Newark Airport. If you are traveling to Newark Airport, be sure to get a ticket to the airport stop, not to Newark Penn Station. Please contact Jean Butcher at should you have any questions or require further information.