Why should you know who has been asking about you?

Politics & Society
Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 16:15 to 16:45
stage 3

Short thesis: 

If you want to know what state knows about you and why so much, then we have something in common. In the post-Snowden world we became well aware that data we store on servers belonging to private companies tends to have a second life. It is where secret services and law enforcement meet the Internet. How to prevent bulk transfers from private to public data bases? How to make sure that due process is in place? What do we know about disclosures of our data and how can we learn more?


Shedding more light on private-public data flows seems to be one objective on which citizens and companies could work together. It is the question of getting the incentives right and reaching some consensus on what "transparency" really means. Do we care more about numbers (i.e. how many times our data was disclosed) or purposes of surveillance? Can we control both? I will suggest answers to these questions on the basis of my own research.

Building on what was triggered by Snowden's revelations and recent research that Panoptykon Foundation carried out in Poland, I will look at:

(1) What sorts of data we "leave behind" in the Net and what can be inferred from these data sets?

(2) Who can access this wealth of information and for what purposes?

(3) How much can we learn about that just by talking to companies?

(4) What are the problems to be solved and possible solutions?  

Video recording: 

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