Letters and Politics

The Right to be Forgotten; Black Stats

With Meg Leta Jones, Assistant Professor of Communications, Culture and Technology at Georgetown University and Author of the Book Ctrl + Z: The Right to be Forgotten.

And Monique Morris, social justice scholar and author of the book Black Stats: African Americans by the Numbers in the Twenty-First Century. Her new book is called Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools.

About Cntl + Z: 

“This is going on your permanent record!” is a threat that has never held more weight than it does in the Internet Age, when information lasts indefinitely. The ability to make good on that threat is as democratized as posting a Tweet or making blog. Data about us is created, shared, collected, analyzed, and processed at an overwhelming scale. The damage caused can be severe, affecting relationships, employment, academic success, and any number of other opportunities—and it can also be long lasting.
One possible solution to this threat? A digital right to be forgotten, which would in turn create a legal duty to delete, hide, or anonymize information at the request of another user. The highly controversial right has been criticized as a repugnant affront to principles of expression and access, as unworkable as a technical measure, and as effective as trying to put the cat back in the bag. Ctrl+Z breaks down the debate and provides guidance for a way forward. It argues that the existing perspectives are too limited, offering easy forgetting or none at all. By looking at new theories of privacy and organizing the many potential applications of the right, law and technology scholar Meg Leta Jones offers a set of nuanced choices. To help us choose, she provides a digital information life cycle, reflects on particular legal cultures, and analyzes international interoperability. In the end, the right to be forgotten can be innovative, liberating, and globally viable.

About Black Stats:

Amid the widespread spin and skewed analysis that is commonplace to media and politics alike, the need for less filtered information and more raw facts seems more pressing than ever. Black Stats, a compact and useful guide, skips over the assumptions, suppositions, and hypotheses about trends and patterns in our society and offers up-to-date figures on black life in the United States today.

Author and advocate Monique W. Morris has compiled statistics from a broad spectrum of telling categories that illustrate the quality of life and the possibility of (and barriers to) advancement for a group at the heart of American society. With fascinating information on everything from disease trends, incarceration rates, and lending practices to voting habits, green jobs, and educational achievement, the material in this book will enrich and inform a range of public debates while challenging commonly held yet often misguided perceptions.

Black Stats simultaneously highlights measures of incredible progress, conveys the disparate impacts of social policies and practices, and surprises with revelations that span subjects including the entertainment industry, military service, and marriage trends. A critical tool for advocates, educators, and policy makers, Black Stats is?an affordable guidebook for anyone seeking to understand the complex state of our nation.

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