Parry Aftab, Esq. is a digital privacy and security lawyer and credited with being one of the founders of cyberlaw. Her focus has evolved since she began cyberlaw and policy work in 1995. Understanding that the digital world was packed with both peril and promise for children and families, she wrote the world’s first book on cybersafety for parents which was customized for the UK, Singapore, Spain and other markets. Early in her cyberlaw career Parry met Vint Cerf, who encouraged her passion to keep users (especially children) safer in the online environment while still giving them access to its benefits.
Parry was never among the fear-mongers and nations, NGOs and industry leaders turned to her for help and advice on digital risk management and content oversight. Parry, in turn, looked to the real experts on digital life – the kids, tweens and teens. A global corps of youth still constitutes her most innovative thinkers, spotting issues and helping identify solutions and cyberbullying, harassment and cyberstalking are among the issues they care about most.
Cybersafety evolved to cyberwellness, when the digital/analog balance was examined. This then turned to recognizing that innovation must serve humankind. Benefits must outweigh risks. Users must be made aware of digital life skills and safety, digital hygiene and security. And “cyberwellness by design” and human needs must be taught to programmers, digital designers, investors and industry, and not be an after-thought. She is passionate that the power of digital innovation must be harnessed for all of humanity and access is crucial.
As a cyberlaw, help group founder and digital policy expert with 23+ years in the field, Parry has hands-on practical experience with consumers, targets and families and their struggle to reap digital benefits while avoiding its risks. Now, as the founder of Digital Living Labs Foundation, a new Canadian NGO operating globally through unpaid virtual volunteers, she is applying her broad expertise to ensuring ethical and mindful digital innovation that “remembers the human.”
Parry founded and runs Cybersafety India and StopCyberbullying and is building Cybersafety.org as a global multi-lingual resource.
She resides in NJ with a second home in Prince Edward Island, Canada with her child advocate husband, Allan McCullough. Their two grandsons are already following in her footsteps by tackling cyberbullying and promoting kindness online. Parry has received the FBI Director’s Community Service Award, The Whitehouse President’s Service Award and the RCMP’s Child Recovery Award, and was appointed by UNESCO to oversee child protection online for the US. She can be reached at Aftab.com, Linkedin.com/in/parryaftab and [email protected].