Cybersecurity Digital Policy Internet Technology & Innovation
Event Recap August 19, 2020

Event recap | Data salon episode 3: Coordinating data privacy and the public interest

By Henry Westerman

On Wednesday, July 29, the GeoTech Center hosted the third episode of the Data Salon Series in partnership with Accenture. The virtual event hosted Dr. Divya Chander, Chair of Neuroscience at Singularity University,  and Ms. Krista Pawley, Principal and Culture and Reputation Architect at Imperative Impact, in conversation with audience members from across the data and innovation space. 

The attendees acknowledged that the collection and use of data have become an integral element of every internet-connected individual’s life. As our digital landscape continues to evolve, though, it is time to consider what intentional policy and design choices could allow for greater data ownership within people-centered structures.

Much of the presentation focused on the concept of data trusts, which would allow individuals to choose who can access their data and for what purposes. The panelists explained that governments and the private sector alike are working to develop strategies that maximize individual privacy, as the public expresses greater interest in protecting data. However, few institutions have landed upon successful solutions in practice that can protect user privacy while allowing for the high levels of analysis (including machine or AI-enabled learning) they have come to expect. 

The panelists explored the possibility of a hybrid approach, which would allow users to opt in to sharing data for certain purposes, or which could employ trusted intermediaries to authenticate data without it ever having to be attached to an individual. 

Attendees recommended a number of articles for further reading, offering potential novel approaches to data privacy.

Further reading

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