Urs Gasser

Urs Gasser
Harvard University, Berkman Center for Internet & Society · Harvard Law School

lic.iur., Dr.iur., LL.M.

About

163
Publications
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4,412
Citations

Publications

Publications (163)
Book
Die in dieser unkonventionellen Sammlung vereinten Texte wagen eine Annäherung an die Themenkreise Pandemie, Risiko, Digitalisierung und Recht in der ersten Phase der COVID-19-Krise. Die während des «Lockdowns» entstandenen Beobachtungen erheben keinen wissenschaftlichen Anspruch, sondern machen im Sinne eines Experiments erste Arbeitshypothesen al...
Article
Full-text available
Data collection and processing via digital public health technologies are being promoted worldwide by governments and private companies as strategic remedies for mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic and loosening lockdown measures. However, the ethical and legal boundaries of deploying digital tools for disease surveillance and control purposes are unc...
Preprint
Full-text available
Data collection and processing via digital public health technologies are being promoted worldwide by governments and private companies as strategic remedies for mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic and loosening lockdown measures. However, the ethical and legal boundaries of deploying digital tools for disease surveillance and control purposes are unc...
Chapter
Search engines provide us with the specific piece of information we are looking for on the Internet, be it any type of trivia, the weather forecast, the population of Guinea-Bissau or the verification of someone’s background.
Chapter
The digitization of all kinds of content and the emergence of the Internet Protocol as a universal standard for any telecommunication have changed the way we interact with each other. This fundamental change has progressed in a very short time. Digitization makes it possible to code data and information in a standardized way and to structure the da...
Chapter
Social media is a recent development in our society that now influences our lives on a daily basis. However, when it comes to defining the term “social media”, there is no official, universally applicable definition. Some authors employ a broad definition incorporating a social media platform, which allows users to upload and share content as well...
Chapter
Everyday life is difficult to imagine without the World Wide Web: Politics, news, work, social interaction and many other aspects of society are happening or being reflected on the Internet. No other media guarantees a comparable dissemination of information that reaches people virtually anywhere in the world and in as little time as the Internet....
Chapter
The digital revolution is transforming society, the economy and government in many ways and profoundly alters the way in which we handle data and information. Nowadays, information is collected, stored and processed faster than ever before through the use of electronic tools. The storage capacity for digital information is continually increasing, w...
Chapter
In the following chapter, we examine a number of technological developments which are of particular significance for the shifts in the relation between remembering and forgetting that have occurred. We begin with the technology that first gave rise to a court decision at EU level that affirmed the existence of a “right to be forgotten” within EU da...
Chapter
This Design Guide summarizes the multidisciplinary insights gained in the course of the project turning them into a set of suggestions, a guidance for design for the handling of information with a special emphasis on the role of memory in the age of digital technologies. The guide starts by stating its addressees (Sect. 1), aims and scope (Sect. 2)...
Chapter
In today’s networked information society, more and more information is being produced and consumed in digital form. Much of this information is readily available, able to be called up at any moment on devices we carry in our pockets, and perhaps more so in future, wear on our wrists or on the bridges of our noses— perhaps 1 day even embedded in our...
Book
When data from all aspects of our lives can be relevant to our health - from our habits at the grocery store and our Google searches to our FitBit data and our medical records - can we really differentiate between big data and health big data? Will health big data be used for good, such as to improve drug safety, or ill, as in insurance discriminat...
Article
The article develops digital constitutionalism as a common term connecting a constellation of initiatives that seek to articulate a set of political rights, governance norms, and limitations on the exercise of power on the Internet. We start by reporting on insights from an analysis of the substantive content of over 30 such documents, and make ref...
Article
Governments and businesses are increasingly collecting, analysing, and sharing detailed information about individuals over long periods of time. Vast quantities of data from new sources and novel methods for large-scale data analysis promise to yield deeper understanding of human characteristics, behaviour, and relationships and advance the state o...
Book
This book examines the fundamental question of how legislators and other rule-makers should handle remembering and forgetting information (especially personally identifiable information) in the digital age. It encompasses such topics as data protection, collective memory, privacy and the right to be forgotten when considering data storage and delet...
Article
AI-based systems are “black boxes,” resulting in massive information asymmetries between the developers of such systems and consumers and policymakers. In order to bridge this information gap, this article proposes a conceptual framework for thinking about governance for AI.
Preprint
Full-text available
Mr. Chairman, Members of the Senate Subcommittee, and Commissioners of the United States Federal Trade Commission: Thank you for focusing attention on the important issues of youth privacy and safety online. As researchers, we welcome the opportunity to provide input into these hearings regarding the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)...
Preprint
Full-text available
When it comes to youth and technology, issues of concern about the future – rather than issues related to opportunities – often dominate the public discourse. This is understandable. First, parents and grandparents are often baffled by, and sometimes concerned about, the habits of their children and the generations that follow – and this shift in b...
Chapter
In today’s ever evolving data ecosystem it is evident that data generated for a wide range of purposes unrelated to biomedicine possess tremendous potential value for biomedical research. Analyses of our Google searches, social media content, loyalty card points and the like are used to draw a fairly accurate picture of our health, our future healt...
Article
Emerging large-scale data sources hold tremendous potential for new scientific research into human biology, behaviors, and relationships. At the same time, big data research presents privacy and ethical challenges that the current regulatory framework is ill-suited to address. In light of the immense value of large-scale research data, the central...
Article
Full-text available
With the prospect of genomic data becoming ever more easily available, Effy Vayena and Urs Gasser discuss how we could balance making the most of its benefits with reducing its risks to privacy.
Article
Governments are under increasing pressure to publicly release collected data in order to promote transparency, accountability, and innovation. Because much of the data they release pertains to individuals, agencies rely on various standards and interventions to protect privacy interests while supporting a range of beneficial uses of the data. Howev...
Article
There are a growing number of examples that point toward a change in the way public policy is made in the digital age. This new context, which we refer to as networked policymaking, involves a greater variety of actors and voices, often collaborating in formal and informal networks, taking part in a public consideration and debate of policy questio...
Article
Foundational changes at the intersection of technology, society, law, and behavior are disrupting and energizing large institutions, impacting the educational technologies and student privacy landscape at lightning speed. Greater levels of connectivity and participation are raising questions about how best to navigate new types of learning environm...
Article
As the amount of information consumed daily by young Internet users increases, researchers and policymakers have begun challenging conventional understandings of diversity exposure. Drawing upon findings from two mixed-method studies conducted in 2011 and 2013 by the Youth and Media project at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Un...
Article
On September 24-25, 2013, the Privacy Tools for Sharing Research Data project at Harvard University held a workshop titled "Integrating Approaches to Privacy across the Research Data Lifecycle." Over forty leading experts in computer science, statistics, law, policy, and social science research convened to discuss the state of the art in data priva...
Article
Full-text available
Reflecting on the 25th anniversaries of the invention of the World Wide Web by Sir Tim Berners-Lee and the adoption of the Convention on Rights of the Child by the US General Assembly, the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and UNICEF co-hosted in April 2014 — in collaboration with PEW Internet, EU Kids Online, the Internet...
Article
In January 2015, the Global Network of Internet & Society Research Centers (NoC) published the results of a globally coordinated, independent academic research project exploring multistakeholder governance models. Facilitated by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, the work evaluated a wide range of governance groups wit...
Article
At its most fundamental level in the context of the digital ecosystem, interoperability (or “interop”) is the ability to transfer and render useful data and other information across systems, applications, or components. As a concept interop is central, and yet often invisible, to many parts of a highly interconnected modern society. The fact that s...
Article
Online intermediaries in various forms – including search engines, social media, or app platforms – play a constitutive role in today’s digital environment. They have become a new type of powerful institution in the 21st century that shape the public networked sphere, and are subject to intense and often controversial policy debates. This paper foc...
Article
This paper synthesizes a set of twelve case studies of real-world governance structures. Together with the underlying case studies, it is the result of a globally coordinated, independent academic research pilot project by the Global Network of Interdisciplinary Internet & Society Research Centers (NoC). Facilitated by the Berkman Center for Intern...
Article
Propósito – Este artigo sintetiza os principais achados de um projeto de pesquisa de três anos para investigar o impacto da Internet sobre a política, a mídia e a sociedade russa. Metodologia/abordagem/design – Empregamos múltiplos métodos para estudar atividades online: o mapeamento e estudo da estrutura, das comunidades e do conteúdo da blogosfer...
Article
On September 24-25, 2013, the Privacy Tools for Sharing Research Data project at Harvard University held a workshop titled "Integrating Approaches to Privacy across the Research Data Lifecycle." Over forty leading experts in computer science, statistics, law, policy, and social science research convened to discuss the state of the art in data priva...
Article
This report offers recommended next steps and prioritizes open issues in the K-12 edtech space, with a special emphasis on two topics: (1) law and policy and (2) norms, values, attitudes, and practices, as well as an overarching eye to opportunities for collaboration. It builds from and reflects upon a conversation co-organized by the the Berkman C...
Article
We live in a quicksilver technological environment where one innovation in information and communication technology (ICT) follows the other. From a user’s perspective, the speed of innovation in the Internet age becomes particularly visible when looking at ever-changing hardware devices that enable instant access to information, knowledge, and ente...
Article
Governments from Bogota to Beijing are engaging with emerging cloud computing technologies and its industry in a variety of overlapping contexts. Based on a review of a representative number of advanced cloud computing strategies developed by governments from around the world, including the United States, United Kingdom, the European Union, and Jap...
Article
This research brief is a contribution by the Youth and Media team at the Berkman Center to its Student Privacy Initiative, which seeks to explore the opportunities and challenges that may arise as educational institutions adopt cloud computing technologies. In order to understand the implications of cloud services for student privacy more holistica...
Article
Evaluation is the systematic investigation of the effects that your program has on the lives of people touched by your program. The process of designing an evaluation system benefits your program by clarifying your goals and identifying indicators of progress towards your goals. The results of evaluation provide program staff with important evidenc...
Article
For the current round of Why News Matters grantees, the McCormick Foundation has funded a diverse set of programs and organizations from varying backgrounds to develop innovative news literacy curricula. Building upon insights from earlier conversations among the grantees and discussion at a recent workshop on this topic, the present brief seeks to...
Article
This research brief is a contribution by the Youth and Media Team at the Berkman Center to the first "Why News Matters" grantees workshop sponsored by the McCormick Foundation and organized by the Educational Development Center, Inc., which took place on March 8 and March 11, 2013, in Chicago. Informed by our own research and practice, with a focus...
Article
This report draws from ongoing Student Privacy Initiative research as well as participant inputs from an April 2013 exploratory workshop, "Student Privacy in the Cloud Computing Ecosystem," to begin to map the current landscape and connect the often-siloed perspectives of educational institutions, students, parents, and administrators as well as cl...
Article
Informed by our own research and practice, the brief aims to discuss how youth define news, where they get their news from, what role social media plays in their news-seeking behavior, and why they might prefer one medium over another, depending on the context. The brief includes insights and quotes gathered through a series of in-person focus grou...
Article
Full-text available
This research update presents an aggregation and summary of recent academic literature on youth bullying. The purpose of this document is to “translate” scholarly research for a concerned public audience, which may include but is not limited to parents, caregivers, educators, and practitioners. This translation highlights recent findings and develo...
Article
This research update presents an aggregation and summary of recent academic literature on youth bullying. The purpose of this document is to “translate” scholarly research for a concerned public audience, which may include but is not limited to parents, caregivers, educators, and practitioners. This translation highlights recent findings and develo...
Article
This briefing document was developed with helpful inputs from industry stakeholders and other practitioners in preparation for the “E-Books in Libraries” workshop, hosted on February 24, 2012, by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society with the generous support of the Charles H. Revson Foundation. The “E-Books in Libraries” workshop was convened...
Article
This is one of three in-depth exploratory studies, which aim to gain a deeper understanding of the role that interoperability plays as an enabler of innovation and creativity in international trade. Each study explores the various institutions, policies and approaches that shape the interoperability landscape and investigates the effects of these f...
Article
This is one of three in-depth exploratory studies, which aim to gain a deeper understanding of the role that interoperability plays as an enabler of innovation and creativity in international trade. Each study explores the various institutions, policies and approaches that shape the interoperability landscape and investigates the effects of these f...
Article
Full-text available
Drawing from a corpus of over 50 million Russian-language tweets collected between March 2010 and March 2011, we created a network map of 10,285 users comprising the ‘discussion core,’ and clustered them based on a combination of network features. The resulting segmentation revealed key online constituencies active in Russian Twitter. The major top...
Article
Full-text available
This paper summarizes the major findings of a three-year research project to investigate the Internet’s impact on Russian politics, media and society. We employed multiple methods to study online activity: the mapping and study of the structure, communities and content of the blogosphere; an analogous mapping and study of Twitter; content analysis...
Article
Building upon a process- and context-oriented information quality framework, this paper seeks to map and explore what we know about the ways in which young users of age 18 and under search for information online, how they evaluate information, and how their related practices of content creation, levels of new literacies, general digital media usage...
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Full-text available
Digital communication has become a more perilous activity, particularly for activists, political dissidents, and independent media. The recent surge in digital activism that has helped to shape the Arab spring has been met with stiff resistance by governments in the region intent on reducing the impact of digital organizing and independent media. N...
Article
Interoperability has become an important feature of information and communication technology (ICT) products, services, applications and organisations in the digital age. Travellers around the world, for instance, book their flights online, pay hotel bills by credit card or make international calls with mobile phones as they move across nations. All...
Chapter
The long-term effects of the Internet on political systems and underlying information processes remain uncertain and are the subject of a new strand of multi-disciplinary—and increasingly quantitatively oriented—research. While the jury is still out, anecdotal and in some cases even empirical evidence from various countries suggest shifts in the wa...
Article
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) was conceptualized in 1997 during an effort by the US Government to create a “private, non-profit corporation […] to assume responsibility for the technical management of the Internet Domain Name and IP addressing systems.”Occasionally, the very characteristics that define ICANN’s mode...
Article
The Internet has changed the ways in which we create, access, and use information, knowledge, and entertainment. In turn, these tectonic shifts have led to the emergence of a new type of networked public sphere that has the potential to alter the dynamics of political communication in general and election campaigns in particular. When compared with...
Chapter
Introduction this chapter approaches the question of corporate social responsibility for acts and omissions of business entities outside the ownership sphere but possibly within the ‘sphere of influence’ from a law and regulation perspective. Here, the term ‘regulation’ is used in the broad sense of the New Chicago School and includes soft law-orie...
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Full-text available
In August 2010, selected faculty and researchers at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, an independent, exploratory study analyzing ICANN’s decision-making processes and communications with its stakeholders. The study focused on developing a framework and recommendations for understanding and improving ICANN’s accountab...
Article
Full-text available
We analyzed Russian blogs to discover networks of discussion around politics and public affairs. Beginning with an initial set of over five million blogs, we used social network analysis to identify a highly active ‘Discussion Core’ of over 11,000. These were clustered according to long term patterns of citations within posts, and the resulting seg...
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Full-text available
This exploratory study is a first output of an ongoing collaboration between the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and UNICEF. It is intended as a contribution towards building a deeper understanding of children’s safety in a digital context in developing nations. More specifically, the objectives of the paper are threefol...
Article
Full-text available
Mr. Chairman, Members of the Senate Subcommittee, and Commissioners of the United States Federal Trade Commission: Thank you for focusing attention on the important issues of youth privacy and safety online. As researchers, we welcome the opportunity to provide input into these hearings regarding the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)...
Chapter
The integration of digital technologies into daily life is transforming human behaviour and social practices. This change has come especially quickly to many commercial activities. The travel industry has been especially transformed. Where once the travel agent was the chief mediator between the customer and a multitude of travel services, travel c...
Article
Full-text available
New digital networked technologies enable users to participate in the consumption, distribution, and creation of content in ways that are revolutionary for both culture and industry. As a result, "Digital Natives"—young people growing up in the digital world with access to the technologies and the skills to use them in sophisticated ways—are now co...
Article
Full-text available
This paper, one of three case studies in a transatlantic research project exploring the connection between Information and Communication Technology interoperability and eInnovation, considers the current state and possible evolution of Digital Identity. While consumers would undoubtedly reap convenience benefits from an ubiquitous single sign-on (S...
Article
Interoperability, like openness, is something that we generally think of as a good thing in the context of information and communications technologies (ICTs). One of the reasons why we tend to like interoperability is that we believe it leads to innovation, as well as other positive things like consumer choice, ease of use, and competition. In this...
Article
This report – representing one of three case studies that are part of a transatlantic research project aimed at exploring the potential relation between ICT Interoperability and eInnovation – examines issues surrounding DRM interoperability within the context of music content. Recognizing that interoperability will likely be defined differently by...
Article
This article approaches the question of corporate social responsibility for acts and omissions of business entities outside the ownership sphere but possibly within the sphere of influence from a legal perspective. Within this thematic context, it addresses four issues. The first section provides a sketch of the genesis of the sphere of influence c...
Article
This paper, one of three case studies in a transatlantic research project exploring the connection between Information and Communication Technology interoperability and eInnovation, considers the current state and possible evolution of Digital Identity. While consumers would undoubtedly reap convenience benefits from an ubiquitous single sign-on (S...