Annual Digital Lecture

Exploration of digital ideas is an important part of our archival work. The Annual Digital Lecture offers the opportunity to hear from a leading speaker on a topic related to digital research, along with a poster exhibition showcasing the innovative digital work taking place at The National Archives.

Listen to the audio recording of this year’s Annual Digital Lecture, which took place on Wednesday 4 November 2020.

The death of anonymity in the age of identity (online event)

Wednesday 4 November 2020

This year’s speaker is Carly Kind, Director of the Ada Lovelace Institute. She will be speaking on ‘The death of anonymity in the age of identity’.

Provisional programme:

(Attendees will receive joining details via email a few days prior to the virtual event).

16:00 Welcome by Jeff James, Chief Executive and Keeper of The National Archives

16:05 Lecture by Carly Kind, Director of the Ada Lovelace Institute

16:35 Q&A with Carly Kind, chaired by Pip Willcox, Head of Research at The National Archives

17:00 Event closes

The lecture will be followed by an online poster display opening on 5 November, which will showcase innovative digital research taking place at The National Archives. More information coming soon.

The global datafication of economy, society and politics has rendered humans into constellations of datapoints. Technologies measure, monitor, predict and classify to enable personalization in the online and offline worlds alike, and we are increasingly offered bespoke realities: advertising, healthcare, government services, and recommendations uniquely targeted to us.

The price is persistent identification: everywhere we go and everything we do is tracked by private and public actors seeking to ‘resolve’ our identities and paint ever more granular pictures of us as both consumers and citizens. The right to remain anonymous is being squeezed out, as we’re asked to handover our identification, our faces, our social media profiles, our email addresses at every turn.

Last year’s lecture was on the topic of the ‘Algorithms of Oppression’. You can watch a video from the event here.