Global Security Initiative

Human and social conditions

An ever-expanding definition of human security

As more and more of daily life is conducted online or in a connected context, the boundaries between terrestrial and virtual violence blur. In our digital age, human security must mean not only freedom from traditional threats like sexual violence or economic and political oppression, but also freedom from virtual threats like algorithmic bias, hate speech, online harassment, and unequal access to data, digital resources, and skills.

GSI builds responsive technologies and capacities to help individuals and communities participate fully and safely in digital culture

Our primary initiative to examine the collision of digital and physical worlds and the associated human security concerns is the Human Security Collaboratory. The HSC approaches these problems in an anticipatory, justice-oriented manner.


  • researching digital civil rights, online privacy and harassment 
  • developing policy recommendations for data privacy and information harvesting

  • exploring the implications of wearable technology, biosensory devices and inequity in technology education and employment 

Featured project

Visualizing data security

Three GSI mixed-media installations addressed the personal component of data security by making mobile device data shed, or data exhaust, tangible. The installations raised questions and encouraged individual reflection on the extraordinary amount of information we create and share every day. The events encouraged audience feedback and participation at festivals in Arizona, New Mexico and British Columbia, using touch, sound and visuals to inform and inspire contemplation.