Digital Democracy Lab

The Digital Democracy Lab conducts and disseminates interdisciplinary research on a web of national priorities focusing on Data and Democracy: safeguarding data and information privacy for public security and democratic stability, as well as for individual autonomy, personal dignity, and expressive and associated freedoms.

New laws and regulations are struggling to address democratic challenges associated with AI and emerging technologies, where AI governance is shaped by a rapidly changing landscape. William & Mary is at the forefront of a national conversation on these important technological and legal advances, and its profound consequence on democratic institutions and the rule of law.

The Lab supports research on topics that include:

  • rights-based AI governance;
  • regulatory oversight governing data and AI systems;
  • AI ethics and ethical data frameworks;
  • corporate protocols regulating data, security, and AI;
  • potential misuses and abuses of data, including algorithmic discrimination and disparate impact;
  • digitized methods of voter disenfranchisement; and
  • impact of breaches and data manipulation on democracy.

The Digital Democracy Lab will focus on translational research that reaches the public and private sectors. The Lab proposes legal and policy innovation strategies intended to be adopted by lawmakers, regulators, and industry leaders. It initiates interdisciplinary research to extend important legal and policy developments in AI governance, data protection, and cybersecurity that reinforce democracy and the rule of law.