Data for Good

Used responsibly, data and technology can create the foundation for more equitable access to opportunity, greater accountability, and a stronger democracy.

We’re working towards an era when decision-making is data driven, AI systems guard against discrimination and bias, and the digital divide is bridged.


Data is power

Governments and businesses now have access to an unprecedented stream of data. The potential benefits for health, employment, education, finance, urban development, and more are enormous. But so are the risks. Engineers, technologists, and the organizations they work for face a profound conundrum: at issue is not merely how we can use this data, but how we should.

Tandon is defining the frameworks and tools for next-generation, responsible data use across a variety of fields, and its GovLab is finding ways to facilitate civic participation, rapid mobilization of resources, and transparency in governance around the world. Whether that’s advocating for open-data policies and platforms before the U.S. Congress, using crowdsourcing to tackle corruption in Latin America, or providing guidance to policymakers on responding to a global pandemic, The GovLab is advancing more effective and legitimate governing.

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It's about more than a single election

As election-hacking scandals, documented disinformation campaigns, and the exposure of deepfake videos have shown, we are now facing regular online threats to our social fabric. Cybersecurity for Democracy is a research organization dedicated to uncovering and combatting those threats — whether they involve nation-state interference in U.S. voting systems or discriminatory policies for online advertising. 

With the trustworthiness of our democratic processes and the integrity of our social systems at stake, researchers at Cybersecurity for Democracy are using data and technology to safeguard and improve them. 

Beth Simone Noveck

Beth Simone Noveck

Professor of Technology, Culture, and Society Beth Nocveck directs the Governance Lab (GovLab) and its MacArthur Research Network on Opening Governance. Her work is focused on creating better, more transparent governments through improving voter engagement, crowdsourcing expertise and rebuilding cities with a multidisciplinary perspective. She was selected as one of the “Foreign Policy 100″ by Foreign Policy as well as one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company and “Top Women in Technology” by Huffington Post.

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Victòria Alsina Burgués

Industry Assistant Professor Victòria Alsina Burgués is an Academic Director at the NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP). She coordinates the CrowdLaw Research Initiative, a group examining how to get citizens and experts more involved in the drafting of new laws. Public buy-in to new laws increases transparency, effectiveness and political legitimacy for a system that often seems too opaque.

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Ad Observatory

Damon McCoy and doctoral student Laura Edelson are bringing truth and transparency to political ads with the NYU Ad Observatory, a powerful new tool letting reporters, researchers, and the public see who is buying political ads on Facebook, how much they are spending, and whom they are targeting.


Center for Responsible AI

The Center for Responsible AI at NYU Tandon is creating new ways of keeping AI unbiased, and training the next generation of experts to design technology that’s powerful and effective, but also equitable and fair.

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Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP)

The Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) is an interdisciplinary research center dedicated to the application of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in the service of urban communities across the globe. Using New York City as our laboratory and classroom, we strive to develop novel data- and technology-driven solutions for complex urban problems.

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Cybersecurity for Democracy

Cybersecurity for Democracy is a research-based, nonpartisan, and independent effort to expose online threats to our social fabric — and recommend how to counter them. We are part of the Center for Cybersecurity at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering.

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The Governance Lab (The GovLab)

The Governance Lab studies the impact of technology on governing. This "think" and "do" tank partners with public institutions to design, implement and assess innovative ways of using technology to advance more effective and legitimate governing. Our goal is to strengthen the ability of public institutions — including but not limited to governments — and people to work more transparently and collaboratively to make better decisions, solve public problems, and advance social justice.

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Visualization and Data Analytics ViDA Center

The Visualization and Data Analytics Research Center at NYU consists of computer scientists who work closely with domain experts to apply the latest advances in computing to problems of critical societal importance, and simultaneously generate hypotheses and methods that new data sources and data types demand.