About

CR's Digital Lab is a diverse community solving consumers’ biggest tech challenges.


We are researchers, engineers, and advocates. Join us.

Our mission

Consumer Reports was established in the 1930s, when the gloss of advertising first threatened objective facts. We made it our mission to deliver trusted information — creating an iconic magazine and establishing the world’s biggest independent product testing laboratories.

 

Among our many accomplishments, CR generated the early science showing the dangers of smoking, helped make seat belts and other car safety features standard, and empowered millions of people to buy right.

 

The market works best when companies compete to better serve consumers. But in today’s market, we’re not just consumers—we’re “users.” In some ways, we’re the product.

 

Everyday consumer objects are now “smart,” powered by software that answers to remote interests. Data is used to deceive and discriminate. And a small handful of tech companies—operating as retailers, broadcasters, and information gatekeepers—have unprecedented power to shape the marketplace. In some ways, they are the marketplace.

 

We know it’s possible to make the market work better. That’s why we started the Digital Lab—to study the challenges consumers face in today’s digital market, and devise solutions.

What we do

  • Develop new ways to test the privacy and security of connected products

  • Strengthen consumer privacy and data rights, in law and in practice

  • Advance proposals to address centralization & gatekeeping that limits consumer choice
  • Measure and expand access to affordable broadband
  • Facilitate participatory research studies to uncover emerging digital harms

Advisors

The Digital Lab Advisory Council acts as a steering committee for the Digital Lab. It is comprised of independent technologists, researchers, and advocates.

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Craig Newmark

Founder of craigslist - Craig Newmark Philanthropies

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Lorrie Cranor

Director, CyLab Security and Privacy Institute - Carnegie Mellon University

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Helena Leurent

Director General - Consumers International

Anamitra Deb

Managing Director of Responsible Tech - Omidyar Network

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Arvind Narayanan

Associate Professor of Computer Science - Princeton CITP

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Sandy Pentland

Professor, Director of Connection Science and Human Dynamics - MIT

Jenny Toomey

International Program Director, Technology & Society - Ford Foundation

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Marta Tellado

President and CEO - Consumer Reports

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Latanya Sweeney

Professor of Government and Technology in Residence - Harvard University

Danny Weitzner

Founding Director - MIT Internet Policy Research Initiative

Doron Weber

Vice President, Programs - Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Partners

PHILANTHROPIC PARTNERS

Research PARTNERS

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