Sara M. Watson

Technology Critic and Senior Analyst

Sara M. Watson
  • Senior Analyst covering connectivity and technology at Insider Intelligence with a focus on privacy, data, and policy
  • Published in The Atlantic, Wired, and The Washington Post
  • Bridging industry, academia, and policy

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Sara M. Watson is a technology critic and senior analyst at Insider Intelligence. She covers connectivity and tech, with a focus on data, privacy, and policy. 

Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Wired, The Washington Post, Slate, Motherboard, and other publications. She presents at technology conferences around the globe, including SXSW and O’Reilly Strata.

Her intersectional work bridges industry, academia, and policy. She began her career as an analyst at the Gartner Research Board, synthesizing the implications of trends in enterprise technology for Fortune 500 CIOs. She has been a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and was a research fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University. She holds an MSc in the Social Science of the Internet from the Oxford Internet Institute, where her award-winning thesis examined the personal data practices of the Quantified Self community. She graduated from Harvard College magna cum laude with a joint degree in English and American literature and film studies. Her interdisciplinary work draws from media studies, science and technology studies, anthropology, and literature.

Sara is based in New York and tweets @smwat.

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Strata Singapore: Taking Personalization Personally Sara M. Watson

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Sara Watson: Technology, Personlization, & Optimization

Big data, algorithms, and personal data: “Taking Personalization Personally,” exploring the human impacts of data as it is collected, interpreted, and used for decision making and personalization in our lives. Advocating for consumer protection and human agency.

Big Tech, Antitrust, Platform Politics, and the Tech Backlash: “Towards a Constructive Technology Criticism,” on the evolution of criticism in tech coverage, emerging global policies and governance models to regulate technology. 

Artificial Intelligence: “The AI Story So Far,” on the dominant apocalyptic narratives we focus on about AI, and why we need more grounded, practical stories to understand our human-machine relationships with AI. Algorithmic decision making, ethics of AI.

5G: Global adoption trends, on-the-ground user experience realities. 

Wearables and the Quantified Self: What consumers do with data, and what we can learn about making data accessible and manageable for users.

Moderating and Interviewing: Leading discussions for conference panels, fireside chats, and book talks. Passionate about facilitating insightful conversations on a wide range of technology and society subjects. 

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