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Algorithms, Law and Society: Building Rights for a Digital Era
Luncheon Series

Algorithms, Law and Society: Building Rights for a Digital Era

December 2, 2016, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University
Harvard Law School campus

This workshop is being sponsored by the Institute for Global Law and Policy, Harvard Law School Brazilian Studies Association, and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

Over the past years, the use of information and communication technology (ICT) have grown exponentially across the globe. This development provoked paradoxical transformations in the dynamics of power. On the one hand, there is hope that ICT can permeate government, law, policies, and businesses provoking more transparency and efficiency. On the other hand, the use of ICT by government, businesses and people in general can be interpreted as an expanding arena for disrespect of human rights: concerns about privacy and security are just the most salient ones; what would one think about governments deciding about social security, education and health using algorithms and big data?In this context, it seems fundamental to question how ICT shapes law and policies.

The Workshop aims at presenting some perspectives on how different actors are mobilizing ICT to change lawmaking and legal services. Therefore, the Workshop will contribute to understand the potential development of the use of ICT in these areas. The Workshop will bring together people from different backgrounds - legal academics, engineers, company representatives and former public authorities - to discuss these topics.

Photo credit to neil banas (developer, mathematician, and oceanographer) using an algorithm.


9:00-10:15 - Panel 1 - Digital Democracy: the Role of Algorithms  

Moderator:     Virgílio Almeida - Harvard University

Yasodara Córdova - Berkman Klein Center Fellow

Rory Van Loo - Boston University Law School 

Gabriel Magno - Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais

Camila Araújo - Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais


10:30-12:00 - Panel 2 - Law without Borders: Legal Data-driven Platforms

Moderator:     Lilian Cintra de Melo - Harvard Law School Institute for Global Law and Policy

Meng Weng Wong - Berkman Klein Center Fellow,

Raphael Leite - Harvard Law School

Mariana Valente - Internet Lab and UC Berkeley School of Law


Participants include

Virgilio Almeida is currently a Visiting Professor at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University and Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. He is also a full professor of the Computer Science Department at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Brazil. His areas of research interest include large scale distributed system, Internet Governance, social computing, algorithms accountability, autonomic computing and performance modeling and analysis. He received a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from  Vanderbilt University, an MS in Computer Science, from the Pontifical Catholic University in Rio de Janeiro and a BS Electrical Engineering from UFMG, Brazil. He was a visiting professor at Boston University, Technical University of Catalonia (UPC) in Barcelona, Polytechnic Institute of NYU.

Yasodara Córdova, also known as "yaso", is an Industrial Designer and Developer. She architects software to be used as tools to assist humans constructing a better society. She is a Berkman Klein Center fellow, and member of the Collaborative Council of Coding Rights, and also of the Open Knowledge Brazil Council. She is also co-chair of the W3C Working Group for Data on the Web.

Rory Van Loo, is a Professor at Boston University School of Law, and a former Harvard Law School lecturer who worked for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and McKinsey & Co., will join the full-time faculty of Boston University School of Law as an associate professor of law. Starting this fall, he will teach Commercial Law, Contracts, and a seminar on the Law of Consumer Markets.

Gabriel Magno is a PhD student of Computer Science at Federal University of Minas Gerais  (UFMG), Brazil. He is interested in studying social interactions, language patterns and privacy issues in social media and online social networks. He received an MS and a BS in Computer Science from UFMG, Brazil. He was a research assistant at the Social Computing group of the Qatar Computing  research Institute.

Camila Araújo is a MSc Student of Computer Science at Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Brazil. She received a BS in Computer Information Systems from the same university. During graduation she worked with Recommender Systems, characterizing the consumption over time in recommendation domains, and in social network analysis. Now she is interested in understanding how sociological aspects are reflected in current technologies, such as the existence of racial bias/stereotypes in search engines, and what is the role of the algorithms on the propagation of these bias/stereotypes.

Lilian Cintra de Melo is both a visiting researcher at Harvard Law School’s Institute for Global Law and Policy (IGLP) and a Ph.D. candidate at the University of São Paulo Law School (USP).  Her Bachelor of Laws work at USP included a yearlong sojourn (2009/2010) at the Institut d`Études Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po, Paris).  Previously, along with serving as a USP teaching assistant, she coordinated the activities of USP’s “Law and Poverty” Research Group, which focuses especially on public policies related to the right to health and education, analyzing how legal structures may bear upon Brazil’s social inequality and poverty.  She worked as an associate attorney at PG Law, practicing Human Rights for Business and Corporate Governance.  Her research field is Law and Development, with an emphasis on Internet Regulation.  Her current research seeks to develop critical reflections on the new Brazilian legal framework that aim to regulate Internet development.

Meng Weng Wong is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor, and computer scientist currently working on, a LegalTech startup building client-facing legal applications based on a formal language for computational law. Recently a visiting fellow at the University of Venice, Meng has lived in Philadelphia, Palo Alto, and Singapore.

Rafael Leite is LL.M. candidate at Harvard Law School, with Bachelor of Laws degree from the Federal University of Paraiba, and specialization in Public Law from the Potiguar University.  Rafael is Federal Judge in Brazil, and won the award on "Robots and Judicial Power".

Mariana Valente is a Director at InternetLab, a think tank for Internet policy in São Paulo, Brazil, and a Visiting Researcher at the UC Berkeley School of Law. She is a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology of Law at the University of São Paulo, where she also earned her Masters degree, and co-coordinates the Law, Internet and Society Nucleus (NDIS-USP). She worked for the Center of Technology and Society of the Fundação Getúlio Vargas (CTS/FGV) as a project lead, a professor and one of the legal coordinators of Creative Commons Brazil. Mariana is also a researcher at the Nucleus for Law and Democracy of the Brazilian Center of Law and Democracy for Analysis and Planning (NDD/CEBRAP). She specializes in intellectual property, access to knowledge and cultural industries and in the intersection of gender, race and other social markers with the digital environment.


Past Event
Friday, December 2, 2016
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Events 01

Event Series

Luncheon Series

The Berkman Klein Center Luncheon Series is a weekly forum for conversations about Internet issues and research. It is free and open to the public.