Diversity & Inclusion Research: A Holistic Approach with Sean Perryman (Ep. 210)

A holistic view of diversity and inclusion with Sean Perryman

A Holistic Approach to Diversity & Inclusion Research with Sean Perryman (Ep. 210)

The Internet Association’s Sean Perryman joined Joe Miller this week to discuss IA’s efforts to develop a more holistic approach to diversity and inclusion research.


Sean Perryman (@seanperryman3) is the Director of Diversity and Inclusion Policy and Counsel at Internet Association. He is responsible for leading IA’s policy efforts around artificial intelligence (AI), diversity, inclusion, and immigration-related policies at the local, state, and federal level.

Prior to joining IA, Sean served as Counsel on the House Oversight Committee, Democratic staff where he conducted investigations and advised on technology policy including AI, cybersecurity, and privacy issues. Before working on the Oversight Committee, Sean practiced civil litigation both in Texas and D.C.

Sean is passionate about issues of equity and inclusion. He serves on the FCC’s Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment. Outside of work, he is the President of the Fairfax County NAACP–the youngest President in the branch’s 101 year history. He also regularly writes about issues related to race, policy, and equity.

Sean earned his B.A. from City University of New York- Baruch College. He received his J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School.


Internet Association

The Internet Association’s Inaugural Diversity & Inclusion Benchmark Report (Internet Association, 2019)

News Roundup 

HHS investigating Google’s health data partnership 

A senior official at the Department of Health and Human Services told the Hill last week that it is opening an investigation into Google’s partnership with Ascension, the nation’s largest nonprofit health system. The investigation follows a Wall Street Journal report on Google’s relationship with Ascension, in which Google has access to the data of some 50 million American patients. The project is dubbed “Project Nightingale”. Investigators in the Office for Civil Rights in HHS are concerned about whether ‘Project Nightingale’ is HIPAA-compliant and adequately protecting patient data. According to the Wall Street Journal, Ascension has been sharing data including patient names and dates of birth; lab tests; doctor diagnoses; medication and hospitalization history; and some billing claims and other clinical records with Google, without notifying patients.  

Report: Facebook has removed millions of hate speech, child exploitation posts 

In its latest transparency report released last week, Facebook reports that it has removed millions of hate speech and child exploitation posts over the past three months alone. The report found that the vast majority of posts violated Facebook’s rules against child exploitation. Child exploitation posts constituted some 11.6 million posts, images or videos. Comparatively, 7 million posts promoted hate speech, 5.2 million shared terrorist propaganda, and 3.2 million were of bullying or harassment. On its Instagram property, Facebook removed acted against 754,000 posts depicting child exploitation and 133,000 posts of terrorist content.   

Civil Rights Groups urge Facebook to change political ads policy 

After meeting with Mark Zuckerberg at his home last week, leaders of several civil rights groups including the NAACP, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Color of Change, National Action Network, Muslim Advocates, UnidosUS, and the National Urban League, urged Zuckerberg to make changes to Facebook political ads policy by November 25. The letter was shared with the Hill which reported that the civil rights leaders are looking for “guardrails” around the newsworthiness exemption. Under that exemption, Facebook’s policy is to allow candidates for political office to make false statements in their ads. The groups are also calling on Facebook to refine politicians’ ability to ‘microtarget’ constituents with different ads for different people, among other demands. 

National intelligence agencies say they have stopped collecting cellphone data 

In a letter to Senator Ron Wyden, Benjamin Fallon, Assistant Director of National Intelligence for Legislative Affairs in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said that intelligence agencies are no longer collecting cell-site location data (CSLI) or GPS records without a warrant. Fallon said the federal government stopped collecting CSLI and GPS records without a warrant after last year’s Supreme Court decision in Carpenter v. U.S.in which the court ruled that the warrantless collection of such data is unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment. 

Apple removes vaping apps from its app store  Apple announced that it has removed all vaping-related apps from its app store. Vaping apps are capable of doing things like lighting and heating vaping devices. Apple agreed with previous findings made by the Centers for Disease Control and American Heart Association that vaping has caused lung injuries and even death in multiple users. The company also expressed concern that the apps entice teenagers to use vaping products.