Internet, Privacy & the Future of Data

 Technology   Fri, February 07, 2020 10:40 AM

Washington, D.C.   Dialogue on Diversity, just wrapping up its thirtieth year of service,  begins the new decade with the annual review of the impacts of a swiftly evolving information technology,  with its baggage of derivative  sub-sciences and a spawn of social aids (and annoyances), assembling a lineup of knowledgeable discussants, theorists, and practitioners.    

The call to this 2020 edition of the Internet Data Privacy Colloquium has gone out. February 20th, 2020,  10:00 am. - 4:00 p.m., Stewart R. Mott Foundation in Washington  The invitation to join with Dialogue on Diversity, its friends, the city’s policy aficionados, and a roster of engaging speakers, for a conversation on the effects of the growing force of hyper-powered information — on your economic viability, your health, and your privacy.  A prospect that is at once exhilarating and terrifying.  The world’s economies are producers of cars, buildings and bafflingly intricate medical hardware, music and amusements, but also of sensors that are closer to you than you yourself. —opening the door for the smiling assistant principal or a prospective employer who, both, know every flaw in your persona.  The Colloquium title drives home the challenges:  Shields of Privacy in an All-Seeing Tech Environment.       

The agenda for the day reaches the corners of the IT /Technology’s living space in contemporary society.  The IoT / AI wave of gadgetry — the newest theaters in the Privacy Wars —  the Succession of “Gs” in the forward march of wireless transmission, each springing ahead with a new foundational infrastructure edifice;  the social engineering industry struggling to come to tolerable terms with the shortage of transmission  capacity in the cobbled together attempts to achieve a Net Neutrality;  the faculty for watching your parlor and the priceless candelabra from a perch in Bankok or Irkutsk, and calling the fire department from the antipodes for an overheated oven. 

The march of IT and its progeny forms a new — to use the stylish  word — “disruptive” moment in our history, and swifter in its onset than any other (except  perhaps the advent of the family car)  The Dialogue’s roster of speakers attacks the new problematic.  The Midday session includes the well-known figure of progressive social analyst and advocate Robert Raben, head of the multi-associate office of Raben Group in central Washington,  with his penetrating views on the character of national policy and the inexorable demands of a genuine social justice in our time.  Mana Azarmi,  the brilliant young analyst at Center for Democracy and Technology, describes her researches into the regulations and practical ethos of the examination of social media and its devices (mobile telephones) as part of incoming border searches of foreign nationals, with probable repercussion of casting (an intrusive) light into the dark corners of one’s repertory of friends, enemies, and wrong numbers.  Sally Greenberg, head of the National Consumers League, offers a fresh and factual account of the achievements and excesses of commercial internet use.  Adrian Gropper analyzes the reach and precision and intrusiveness of the medical records privacy puzzles.  Full records will save the body; privacy will save the soul.  Anisha Reddy of the Future of Privacy Forum pulls apart the pieces of the school privacy moral quandaries:  the oppressive surveillance, the censorship of the school paper, “your permanent record”, the civilizational menace of sexting.  Also from Future of Privacy comes Jeremy Greenberg, with discussion of the Internet of Things (IoT), contemporary and future, and its necessarily long and pervasive tentacles sounding in much of the user’s affairs in the ordinary business of life.  Invitations have gone out to (among many others) Nicol Turner-Lee, of Brookings, a many times speaker at our programs,  Prof. Álvaro Bedoya of Georgetown University Law, Hon. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C. Delegate to the House of Representatives, Colleen King and Laura Berrocal of Charter Communications,  Carmen Scurato of Free Press on First Amendment questions, and Bacilia Angel of Mitre Corpration and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers.       

 If the full form of information technology in its multiple offshoots may clearly be the essential “disruptive” economic event of the age,  one needs to assess the consequences.  The economists’ “creative destruction” as the form of progress may, as one possibility,  yield as social wreckage the infrastructure of the old, now hobbled or vanished order,  or it may be the opportunity for a technological renaissance of such character as to refurbish the human and other factors of production otherwise idled, in the new tasks of building out the new infrastructure.  We hope in the February 20th program to contribute to the debate. 

Dialogue on Diversity is a non-profit organization targeting and audience of Latino and other diverse ethnic and cultural communities, bringing together entrepreneurial and professional and civil society women and men, and all with an interest in public policy, through an annual cycle of programs on social, economic, and other questions and as part of the public discourse that aims at the good society in our own age

Maria Castillo 703 631 0650