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NTIA Virtual Listening Sessions on Personal Data: Privacy, Equity, and Civil Rights

January 03, 2022

NTIA hosted three listening sessions concerning Personal Data: Privacy, Equity, and Civil Rights. NTIA will also be soliciting written comments on the topics discussed in these sessions through a forthcoming Request for Comment. The data gathered through this process will be used to inform a report on the ways in which commercial data flows of personal information can lead to disparate impact and outcomes for marginalized or disadvantaged communities.

Each session included one or two keynote speakers and a panel of subject matter experts. A one hour session followed during which members of the public were welcomed to give comments on the topic.

Day 1: Legal Landscape of Consumer Privacy and Civil Rights Protections 

Listening Session Description: Day 1 explored the privacy and civil rights laws that ostensibly apply to data practices that disproportionately harm marginalized groups, and discuss the protections those laws may or may not provide. 

Event Time and Date: Tuesday, 12/14, 1-3:30 PM ET (Keynotes, ~1:05-1:30; panel, ~1:35-2:30; public participation portion, 2:30-3:30 ET) 

Keynote 1: Kristen Clarke, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, Department of Justice 

Keynote 2: Rebecca Slaughter, Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission 

Panel Moderator: Lauren Didiuk, Chief of Staff and Senior Counsel to the General Counsel at U.S. Department of Commerce 


  • David Brody, Senior Counsel, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. 
  • Lydia X. Z. Brown, Policy Counsel of the Privacy and Data Project at the Center for Democracy and Technology.
  • Michele Gilman, Venable Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Development, University of Baltimore School of Law.
  • Bertram Lee, Jr., Media and Tech Policy Counsel for the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.
  • Aaron Konopasky, Senior Attorney-Advisor, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Day 1 Video Link

Day 2: Data Processing and Structural Inequities

Listening Session Description: Day 2 delved into how unfair or invasive data practices can disproportionately harm marginalized groups, such as people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ people, low-income people, immigrants, and others, with a focus on the full range of harms, rather than on the legal implications thereof. 

Event Time and Date: Wednesday, 12/15, 1-3:30 PM ET (Keynotes, ~1:05-1:30; panel, ~1:35-2:30; public participation portion, 2:30-3:30 ET) 

Keynote 1: Latanya Sweeney, the Daniel Paul Professor of the Practice of Government and Technology at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Keynote 2: Jennifer Urban, Clinical Professor of Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic, Co-Director, Berkeley Center for Law & Technology at Berkeley Law, and Chairperson of the Board of the California Privacy Protection Agency

Panel ModeratorLindsey Barrett, Telecommunications Policy Specialist, Department of Commerce 


  • Urmila Janardan, policy analyst at Upturn
  • Karen Levy,  Assistant Professor in the Department of Information Science at Cornell University and Associate Member of the Faculty at Cornell Law School
  • Claudia Ruiz, Policy Analyst at Unidos US
  • Scott Skinner-Thompson, Associate Professor of Law and Affiliate Faculty of the LGBTQ Studies Program the University of Colorado Law School, 
  • Snigdha Sharma, team lead and tech equity analyst at the National Fair Housing Alliance

Day 2 Video Link

Day 3: Solutions

Listening Session Description: The third session discussed how to address the problems outlined in the first two sessions, including legislative proposals, new enforcement approaches, and other corporate accountability measures. 

Event Time and Date: Thursday, 12/16, 1-3:30 PM ET (Panel, ~1:05-2:05; keynotes, ~2:05-2:25; public participation, 2:25-3:30) 

Keynote: Don Graves, Deputy Secretary of Commerce 

Panel Moderator: Travis Hall, Telecommunications Policy Specialist, Department of Commerce 


  • Leigh Freund, President & CEO of NAI.
  • Rumman Chowdhury, Director of the Machine Learning Ethics, Transparency, and Accountability team at Twitter
  • Woody Hartzog, professor of law and computer science at Northeastern University.
  • Laura Moy, Director of Georgetown Law’s Communications & Technology Law Clinic.
  • Elisa Jillson, Counsel to the Director at the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the Federal Trade Commission. 

Day 3 Video Link