Carolyn Nguyen

Carolyn Nguyen
Microsoft, USA


Carolyn Nguyen is Director at the Microsoft Technology and Policy Group.

Standpoint: Policy making

There seems to be a consensus that the world is changing. Data and the technologies that enable its production and use are having a fundamental impact on ordinary life, on our roles as citizens, consumers and individuals, on our relations with each other and our communities, as well as to public and private entities.


Reading into the Topics and Cuts here, it is clear many see this change as having an elemental impact on concepts that have underpinned regulatory and policy matters. The hyperconnected, distributed and dynamic (as opposed to sequential, centralized, predictable) world, coupled with data-rich technologies are resulting not only in changing notions of privacy; undergoing change are the basic tenets of citizenship, individual agency, social/economic freedoms, and so on.


What these changes point to is a need to consider different approaches to understanding the problems, and to designing policy and regulatory frameworks. There is still some time  to understand the factors that are shaping the coming world, especially those that differentiate it from the current one, and establish a fuller understanding of these issues so that appropriate questions can be posed and addressed. In rethinking policy and regulatory frameworks, there are shorter term pressures to rebalance the asymmetry in power that exists today between people and large public institutions/industry, and longer term questions about the balance to be struck between social control and agency. Broadly, what appears to be at stake is respect for the person, as an individual and as part of larger communities, and to what extent this might be protected through a multidisciplinary approach that would consider humanity, technologies, and policy.


[Much more to come…]