The emergence of digital technology, including AI-enabled tools, has given states an ever-greater ability to monitor and surveil the activities of its citizens. State responses to the coronavirus pandemic—in both autocracies and democracies—have exacerbated concerns about infringements of civil liberties and privacy. While there are legitimate public health reasons for deploying new surveillance mechanisms, such as contact-tracing apps and other digital tracking measures, they also give rise to deeper data protection and privacy concerns. More broadly, they speak to a fundamental question about the proper balance between citizen and state, and where to draw the line between advancing state interests versus protecting citizens’ civil liberties and political freedoms.
- What are the approaches of the United States and its allies and Russia to the issue of balance between privacy and control?
- Is a dialogue on harmonizing regulation and agreeing on the global rules of the game possible in this area or is the international community too fragmented?
- What are the main threats from digital technology (data leaks, security abuses, etc.) that regulators should take into account?
This event is part of the Carnegie Moscow Center and U.S. Embassy in Moscow’s joint project: “Re-launching U.S.-Russia Dialogue on Global Challenges: The Role of the Next Generation.”