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Transparency Series Workshop: Reporting on Devices with Consumer Reports
December 8, 2018 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm EST
Most consumer advocacy is based on a definition of consumer rights anchored on two things: value and safety. While these issues are perennial concerns for consumers, they don’t capture the larger threats posed by the 21st C marketplace: reductions in individual agency and control. Amazon, Google, Facebook, and the other corporate powers offer products that don’t pose traditional ‘safety’ threats. In this workshop we start with the hypothesis that the consumer movement has mostly ‘solved for the 20th C.’ Products are better, safer, and cheaper than ever. That what we need, instead, is a new framework anchored in contemporary threats to agency and control. And from this framework, new models for product ratings, consumer decision-making, and so on, for evaluating network-connected devices and “apps.” We will explore this new terrain through the lens of Consumer Reports’ new Digital Standard. We will apply both technical as well as analytical tools to examine how to report on connected devices and “apps.”
Apply for the workshop at transparency.brown.columbia.edu.