The Ethics and Politics of Digital Human Remains

28 May 2020
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm


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Carl Öhman, Oxford Internet Institute

The web is increasingly inhabited by the remains of its departed users. In the next three decades, more than 3 billion people will die, many of them internet users. And on Facebook, the deceased profiles may even outnumber the living before 2070. The question is what to do with all these data. Should they be deleted? Or do we have an obligation to preserve data for future generations of historians? And who gets to decide? This talk gives an overview of different ways to think about these questions as well as their significance for individuals, industry and society.


Carl Öhman is a doctoral candidate at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. A member of the Digital Ethics Lab, his research looks mainly at ethical and political challenges that arise from the growing volume of ‘digital human remains’ – data left by deceased users – on the internet.

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The BCS Oxon Committee has been working with BCS HQ to investigate the practicalities of running virtual meeting.

I am glad to say that our experimentation with GoToWebinar has been relatively successful, although you may need to bear with us as we become more proficient!

Therefore I am please to announce that our April meeting has been re-instated using GoToWebinar. Thanks to Kirsty McNaught for kindly volunteering to be our guinea pig.

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