Social Media: a new book tackles privacy, security and disinformation issues head-on

February 9, 2021

Social Media: a new book tackles privacy, security and disinformation issues head-on

Montréal, February 9, 2021 – How can we ensure that the social media we use or contribute to respects and protects individual privacy? Which policies should be used to authenticate profiles? To what extent can information published on a personal account be trusted? These are some of the fundamental questions addressed by the book Médias sociaux : perspectives sur les défis liés à la cybersécurité, la gouvernementalité algorithmique et l’intelligence artificielle, published by Les Presses de l’Université Laval.

This book, part of the “Éthique, IA et Sociétés – OBVIA” collection, was edited by Schallum Pierre, scientific and ethics officer at the Institute Intelligence and Data (IID) at Université Laval, and Fehmi Jaafar, researcher in cybersecurity at the Computer Research Institute of Montréal (CRIM). It brings together the work of 16 contributors, associated with six universities in Canada and Austria, as well as professionals from companies specialized in information security.

The book is part of an ongoing debate, here and elsewhere, about social media and the moderation of their content, and addresses several key issues head-on. “Personal data management guidelines are aligned with social media companies’ private interests. Today, it is important to put in place not only regulations related to the context of the entities involved (users, states and platforms), but also and above all, to implement preventive policies focused on respect for the human person,” says Schallum Pierre.

“Social media are an inexhaustible source of information about citizens and their links with private and public organizations. Ensuring the safety of this personal information is a form of citizen protection and data ‘sovereignty’, with a view to avoiding the control of mass opinion and the proliferation of electronic fraud, manipulation, and hate speech,” adds Fehmi Jaafar.

The book, available in open access, aims first and foremost to be a guide for raising awareness among both citizens and experts regarding issues of data protection or confidentiality policy development.

Access the book on the Presses de l’Université Laval website

A virtual conference to celebrate the launch

The public is invited to participate in a free webinar on Wednesday, February 24, from 12:00 to 1:30 pm. On this occasion, a number of contributors will take part in a round table discussion in order to highlight various perspectives presented in the book, as well as answer questions from participants: Register for the event

A new collection bringing together works and reflections on AI and society

The book edited by Schallum Pierre and Fehmi Jaafar is the first title published in the series “Éthique, IA et Sociétés – OBVIA” of the Presses de l’Université Laval.

This collection, aimed at academia as well as concerned citizens, seeks to advance knowledge by clarifying recent advances in AI and digital technologies while highlighting their societal impacts. “Our collection aims to bring together original works that address technological developments by discussing their impact, whether beneficial or harmful to society,” explains Lyse Langlois, director of the International Observatory on the Societal Impacts of AI and Digital Technologies (Observatoire international sur les impacts sociétaux de l’IA et du numérique – OBVIA).

Promoting interdisciplinarity and transcending the usual disciplinary frameworks, the collection “Éthique, IA et Sociétés” intends to make empirical and theoretical research accessible to a broad readership and to help us better understand the societal impacts that these technological developments have on society.

About the Institute Intelligence and Data (IID) at Université Laval

Inauguré en janvier 2020, l’Institut intelligence et données (IID) de l’Université Laval réunit les forces vives de la recherche et de l’innovation en intelligence artificielle et en valorisation des données de la grande région de Québec. From applied or fundamental research to major ethical issues, its researcher members, collaborators or associates are actively working to develop, today, the methods, technologies and practices that will support the Quebec of tomorrow. Information:

About the International Observatory on the Societal Impacts of AI and Digital Technology (OBVIA) 

OBVIA brings together more than 220 Quebec researchers and more than 125 partners around the world. Initially led by Université Laval and with the support of the Fonds de recherche du Québec, its mission is to raise crucial issues and identify plausible solutions to the problems and opportunities posed by AI and digital developments in Quebec and around the world. Our work provides citizens and public authorities with food for thought on the societal impacts of digital technologies on health, but also on the economy, politics and culture of current and future generations. Information:

About CRIM

CRIM is an applied research and expertise centre in information technology, dedicated to making organizations more effective and competitive through the development of innovative technology and the transfer of leading edge know-how, while contributing to scientific advancement. It helps organizations, primarily SMEs, demystify and gain access to leading-edge technology, such as artificial intelligence, to efficiently address the technological challenges they face. CRIM is a non-profit organization whose neutrality and strong network make it an indispensable resource. Its work is in line with the policies and strategies of its major financial partner, the ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation. Information:

The book’s editors are available for interviews.

Source: CRIM, IID and OBVIA

For information or interviews:

Diane Fortin, communications officer, CRIM

514 210-0545 or

Raymond Poirier, communications advisor, IID, Université Laval

418 558-9560 or


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