Privacy. Security. Free expression. We’re tackling human rights in the digital age at RightsCon.

TORONTO, CANADA — On May 16-18, 2018, RightsCon Toronto will bring a global community of experts together for the world’s leading summit on human rights in the digital age.

Hosted by Access Now, the conference is an outcome-driven, open dialogue among civil society, businesses large and small, policymakers, journalists, technologists, and activists. More than 2,000 participants from 100+ countries will tackle our most ambitious program yet.

In the wake of recent public discussions about Cambridge Analytica’s abuse of 50 million Facebook users’ personal data, individuals are reevaluating their relationships with Facebook and other online platforms. Companies are confronting the ethics of advertising on platforms that rely on the kind of data mining exploited by Cambridge Analytica, among others. And privacy advocates are rallying around the need for strong data protection laws, which are a necessary foundation for building digital spaces that protect users’ data instead of harvesting it. All of these questions (and more) will be part of the RightsCon agenda.

On Friday, signaling concerns over major tech companies’ ability to safeguard users’ privacy, Sonos announced it will pull all of its ads from Facebook, Instagram, Google, and Twitter for one week, and will instead donate that money to Access Now and RightsCon.

In its explanation of this move, Sonos wrote, “RightsCon is one of the only forums where tech companies engage directly with activists on equal terms, enabling solutions that can help forge a healthier technology ecosystem that works for everyone. As part of our own ongoing effort to learn and evolve, Sonos will be an active participant in RightsCon this year. We think it’s important for those involved in creating tech to listen to the voices of those that are impacted by it, including the most marginalized, such as human rights defenders, LGBT people, and people of color. RightsCon is a forum that enables exactly that type of listening—and ultimately, action.”

Other speakers will include Steve Huffman, CEO and Co-founder, Reddit; Dunja Mijatović, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights; Mitchell Baker, Executive Chairwoman, Mozilla; Lahoussine Aniss, General Secretary, Moroccan Data Protection Authority; Carolina Rossini, Global Connectivity Policy Manager, Facebook; Bruce Schneier, author and technologist; Nighat Dad, Executive Director, Digital Rights Foundation Pakistan; Tara Denham, Director, Global Affairs Canada Democracy Unit; Julie Owono, Head of Africa Desk, Internet Sans Frontières; Ahmad Primo, Founder, Verify-Sy; Julie Brill, Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Microsoft; Edward Santow, Commissioner, Australian Human Rights Commission; and many othersWe are also pleased to welcome our Local Champions — a team of Canada’s leading voices on digital rights who are supporting development of the RightsCon program.

Right now, how we use the internet to express ourselves, communicate, and build community is at stake — as well as how technology will be used to control information, to silence critical voices, and to monitor and manipulate our choices. RightsCon Toronto will cover hot-button issues like extreme vetting, disinformation and “fake news,” hacking, cybersecurity, online hate and harassment, government surveillance, sustainable development, humanitarian crises, and more, in forums that bring civil society together with decision-makers in the public and private sectors.

The program will include 450+ sessions, and Access Now staff will be happy to assist in facilitating interviews with speakers. You can request your press pass here.

We look forward to seeing you at

RightsCon Toronto

May 16-18, 2018

Beanfield Centre at Exhibition Place