Yong Jin Park, Professor School of Communications, Howard University

My research interest centers on social and policy implications of new technologies. 

My current projects examine various dimensions of digital privacy. Another line of research includes innovative methodologies of big data and real-time observations, with practical implications. Underlying emphasis in my works is to generate empirical research with concrete policy and social values. And I am very happy to announce that my book on AI surveillance is just published in University of Michigan Press, 2021. 

 Book cover for 'The Future of Digital Surveillance'

The Future of Digital Surveillance

Why Digital Monitoring Will Never Lose Its Appeal in a World of Algorithm-Driven AI
Yong Jin Park


Are humans hard-wired to make good decisions about managing their privacy in an increasingly public world? Or are we helpless victims of surveillance through our use of invasive digital media? Exploring the chasm between the tyranny of surveillance and the ideal of privacy, this book traces the origins of personal data collection in digital technologies including artificial intelligence (AI) embedded in social network sites, search engines, mobile apps, the web, and email. The Future of Digital Surveillance argues against a technologically deterministic view—digital technologies by nature do not cause surveillance. Instead, the shaping of surveillance technologies is embedded in a complex set of individual psychology, institutional behaviors, and policy principles.

Yong Jin Park is Professor at Howard University.

Praise / Awards

  • "Yong Jin Park has produced a remarkably nuanced, balanced, and engaging analysis of the polarized debate about privacy in the digital age. This isn’t a rhetorical collection of anecdotes. It is thoughtfully crafted social science. Park’s explanation of how artificial intelligence and algorithms enter the mix make the book unique."
    —W. Russell Neuman, New York University
  • “With deep insight and conceptual clarity, Professor Park constructs a rich map of the modern privacy terrain. Resisting caricature and simplistic diagnoses, he teases out the complex interplay between individual agency and institutional drivers within the modern political, economic, social, and technological ecosystems. This book is an illuminating read for all who care about the future of privacy in an increasingly algorithmic world.”
    —Jerry Kang, Distinguished Professor of Law and (by courtesy) Asian American Studies, UCLA
  • “Professor Park has produced a comprehensive and quite timely engagement with the technological, social, economic, and political influences in the current status and likely future of the privacy that individuals and collectives can hope to enjoy. His presentation of critical issues, concerns, and potential responses deserves wide readership.”
    —Oscar Gandy, University of Pennsylvania
  • “While the end of privacy as we know it is a certainty, privacy is not doomed. In this analytically strong book, Yong Jin Park shows that regulatory solutions are available, at least in the US and the EU. The strongest achievement of this book is the full integration of the individual perspective of privacy and the institutional drive of surveillance enabled by AI and Big Data.”
    —Jan A.G.M. van Dijk, Professor of Communication Science and the Information Society at the University of Twente and author of The Network Society (1999/2020)

Amazon Link                              https://www.amazon.com/Future-Digital-Surveillance-Monitoring-Algorithm-Driven/dp/0472054848

Univ Michigan Press site            https://www.press.umich.edu/10211553/future_of_digital_surveillance

Quick Introduction: Privacy, New Media Use and Skill, Mobile, New Media Policy, Algorithm and AI, Large Scale Secondary Data (Big Data) Use

I am a winner of the Top Paper Award, NCA 2015, Future Comm, Top Paper Award International Social Network Conference (DISC), TRIPLE HELIX, in 2014, the Top Three Faculty Paper Award Human Comm. Technology NCA, 2014; the Top Three Faculty Paper Award, Communication Technology Division 2012, AEJMC; Kappa Tau Award; and the Jung-Sook Lee Top Paper Award, AEJMC.

  • NCA 2019, 2017, 2016 Top Faculty Paper Award
  • Competitive Selection: Invited to Facebook/Freedom of Privacy Forum Workshop, Facebook, NYC, 2017
  • Invited to the Atlantic: Internet of Everything, Commerce 2.0, Newseum 
  • National TV News (YTN, S. Korea) Coverage of My IJOC Article, Oct 2017 
  • Watch national news coverage  

My proposals were funded by Scripps Foundation, 2016; Advertising Education Foundation, NYC to participate in VPP / Oligvy, Chicago 2013. I was also honored to receive James Carey-ICA Urban Communication Grant 2012. My work regarding digital information explosion has been covered in well-known media outlets such as the Huffington Post, the Columbia Journalism Review, and the Wall Street Journal. Another work on the effect of media ownership consolidation has been cited in a number of policy reports, mostly recently concerning FCC policy on NBC Universal/Comcast merger proposal. My latest research on teens' mobile use was also covered in a number of online media outlets in 2014. Most recently, my co-authored work on Facebook friends and political dialogues got attention from Huffington Post Live.  I served as a FCC panelist on public discussion regarding the information needs among the American public, with three of my co-authored policy briefs extensively reported in Communications Daily. In 2015, I was invited to the Facebook headquarters (Menlo Park, CA) for privacy, sexting, and teen-related works.  

My works (will) appear in Journalism, Policy and Internet, New Media and Society, Cyberpsychology Behavior and Social Networking, Social Science Computer Review, Telematics and Informatics, International Journal of Communication, Communication Research, Telecommunications Policy, Javnost-the public, Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, Journal of Communication, Computers in Human Behavior, Info: Journal of Policy, Regulation, and Telecommunications, Mobile Media and Communication, The Information Society, Government Information Quarterly, Communication Teacher, Journal of Information Policy, First Monday, Sociology Compass, and more. In addition, I was EPIC research fellow and contributed to East Asian section of Privacy & Human Rights Report by the EPIC (Electronic Privacy Information Center) in Washington DC. More than 25 of my works have been presented at numerous referred conferences such as TPRC, AEJMC, ICA, MPSA, NCA, and IAMCR.

At Howard, I teach Research Method, Communication Policy, Emerging New Communication Technologies, and Race, Gender, Media. I am also a member of Howard Media Group, a social science research group with the goal of expanding access to the (new) media among under-served communities. I obtained my Ph.D. in Communications, from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, a MA in Communication Management, from Annenberg School of Communication, University of Southern California, and a BA in Media Studies, from University of San Francisco.