Seeta Peña Gangadharan

Senior Research Fellow, Open Technology Institute

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Seeta Peña Gangadharan is a Senior Research Fellow at the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute (OTI). Her work lies at the intersection of technology, civil society, and communication policy. She focuses on the nature of digital inequalities, data and discrimination, social dynamics of technology adoption, communication rights, and media justice.

Since joining OTI in July 2011, she has written and spoken widely about digital inclusion, privacy, surveillance, and data profiling of marginalized populations. Her work has identified privacy and surveillance norms and practices among members of underserved groups and exposed the lack of privacy and surveillance knowledge among frontline staff at digital literacy organizations. She has also compared current-day data profiling to pre-digital examples of surveillance of poor people and communities of color. With colleagues, she looked at individuals reliant on public Internet access and the challenges they face in adopting end-user solutions to improve privacy and security. Between 2011 and 2013, she led an extensive research and evaluation effort of federally funded broadband adoption programs in Philadelphia, demonstrating the critical importance of social support networks to the success of broadband adoption in underserved populations.

Prior to OTI, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School, where she initiated a project on the tension between digital inclusion and data profiling. Her PhD work, completed at Stanford University, investigated the politics of communication policymaking, with a focus on the rulemaking process at the Federal Communications Commission.

Her work has appeared in the International Journal of Communication, First Monday, Communication, Culture & Critique, New Media & Society, and Journal of Communication Inquiry. She has co-edited two books, Online Deliberation: Design, Research, and Practice, and Alternatives on Media Content, Journalism, and Regulation. She also penned a short history of media justice organizing in the United States in Communication Rights and Social Justice.

She is a research fellow of the Data & Society Research Institute and a visiting fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School.


  • Communication Rights
  • Connect2Compete
  • Data Profiling
  • Digital Divide
  • Digital Equality
  • Social Justice

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Seeta Peña Gangadharan
Senior Research Fellow, Open Technology Institute

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