Founder and Executive Director, The Cybersafety Group
Parry Aftab is a digital privacy and cybersecurity lawyer and advises industry and nations on digital policy and best practices. She is working with other experts in Vint Cerf’s People-Centered Internet NGO to making digital innovation more responsive to human needs, address disinformation and mal-information, weaponized memes and radicalization of social media.
Together with Eric Feinburg and others in the disinformation space, Parry is tackling the legal expansion of Section 230 of the CDA beyond its original intent and the negative effect immunity has had on risk management innovation and adoption. She believes that it is a few short steps from hate speech to massacres and is working with Barbara Coloroso on genocide and refugee issues impacted by digital technology and with the UN on cyberstalking of female ambassadors.
Parry has devoted a majority of her time running charities and NGOs around the world, dedicated to cybersafety, responsible use, cyberbullying and stalking prevention and credible information models. She has been honored by the US Congress, and has received the President’s Service Award from the Clinton White House, the Child Recovery Award from the Canadian RCMP, and the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award from then Director Mueller. Twenty years ago, UNESCO appointed her to head its Internet crimes against children initiative for the US.
Her work, since 1995, in advising industry, governments and policymakers on cybersafety, digital privacy and cybersecurity and her running a cybersafety and help group for 24+ years have given her a unique perspective on digital risk management. She first testified before the US Congress on “Weaponizing the Internet and Digital Radicalization” in 2007. Her mission to address and stop hate and disinformation online governs most of her work.
She served on the Internet Safety Technical Task Force (ISTTF) and NTIA’s Online Safety Technology Working Group (OSTWG) to advise Congress. She was founding member of Facebook’s safety advisory board (leaving 4 years ago), sits on MTV’s public affairs advisory board and runs the new Digital Living Labs Foundation (which houses the Remembering the Human initiative and the Joseph Alhadeff Youth Digital Policy Center in Canada). She founded the WiredSafety, Stop Cyberbullying and Cybersafety India charities, still run by her as an unpaid volunteer. Her consulting firm WiredTrust advises trusted brands, well-funded start-ups and government.
Her newest project was created as a tribute to Joe Alhadeff, a longtime board member of Parry’s child protection charity and her CyberSafety India Foundation. It brings young people (from 7 to 18) together with experts in the field to bring relevancy to digital risk management and cybersecurity strategies impacting youth. It will also collaborate with grass roots organizations, industry experts, social scientists and policymakers to address the digital aspects of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for vulnerable groups.