Fall 2020 Open Challenge for Data and Privacy Prototyping

UPDATE: The deadline is July 6, 2020! Get the proposals in! END UPDATE.

Are you interested in and passionate about helping people understand the importance of privacy, and how to understand our rights?

Consumer Reports has partnered with The NYC Media Lab to announce calls for the Fall 2020 Open Challenge for Data and Privacy Prototyping! The deadline for submissions is July 6, 2020. Selected teams will be awarded up to $5000 to work on the Challenge.

We strongly believe that a person shouldn’t need a law degree, or be willing to spend multiple hours reading dense legalese, to understand the privacy implications of installing an app on their phone or being active online. As part of the Open Challenge, Consumer Reports and the NYC Media Lab will support up to five teams (undergraduate or graduate students, with a faculty advisor) to prototype solutions that help answer or address the following general questions:

  • What kind of valuable information can be synthesized from companies’ privacy disclosures?
  • How can we make privacy disclosures, and the information they contain, useful for everyday people?

These questions are broad, and that’s by design. We aren’t looking for a narrow technical solution. We are excited to see work that helps illustrate the human impact of privacy. Privacy isn’t one size fits all, and our understanding of privacy shifts based on different circumstances and contexts. Can data collected by an online service potentially affect a person’s credit score, insurance rates, employability, or ability to rent an apartment? Do the potential risks or rewards shift based on gender, race, ethnicity, LGBTQ+ identity, and/or documentation status?

Toward that end, proposals that illustrate privacy with strong design elements, visual storytelling, sociological concerns, and/or a grounding in ethics are welcomed and encouraged.

We hope to hear from you! If you have questions, please contact us at info@nycmedialab.org

To see the full announcement, and to apply, please visit the announcement on the NYC Media Lab site.

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