Technology   Mon, February 18, 2019 10:33 AM

Washington, DC — Dialogue on Diversity launches its 2019 series of programs on social, economic, and technological issues with the annual Internet Data Privacy Colloquium, this in its 11th annual edition, on Wednesday, February 27th at the Rayburn House Office Building, 2325, on Capitol Hill.  The migrants in our midst are high on the list for our concerns, as indicated by the words of the subtitle:

An American Eldorado:  Social Justice and the Newcomers’ Share.

The day’s agenda is a tour through the latest – the startlingly fast and efficient – performances of up to the minute Information Technology.  The scenes in order — the Law, the Technology, and the perils to the sphere of Privacy to which even the best of IT gadgetry is not entirely immune.  Any definition of Privacy is elusive.  Prof. Spencer Overton of the George Washington University Law School and Carmen Scurato, of the Free Press organization, describe its shape, its many injuries, and its role as the balm of any fair and decent society.

Nicol Turner-Lee, of the Center for Technology and Innovation at Washington’s Brookings Institution,   leads the agenda in an overview of these topics, with a penetrating analysis of the pervasive character of technology-assisted observation, amassing personal data in the worlds of commerce and of state-driven surveillance.  And pinpointing the required ingenuity that tops the list of tasks for would-be defenders of the values of privacy.

Travis Hall, resident expert at the National Telecommunications Information Administration, Department of Commerce, reflects on the technical aspects of the 5G technologies soon to be at center stage, and on the structure of the internet industries, and the potentially adverse interests of large advertisers and small, often minority ideological, ethnic, or religious content producers – and the appropriate forms for their regulation.       

S. Jenell Trigg, heading the consumer desk at Lerman Senter law in Washington, has turned her legal expertise to dissecting the minutiae of the mechanisms by which internet advertisers grasp each trace of every customer in their path.  Sharing the commerce data panel is Sally Greenberg, a long experienced lawyer specializing in consumer affairs, now Executive Director of the National Consumers League, former President of the Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts and member of numerous federal and state commissions.

Governments are among the most avid of information gatherers, and their responsibilities for the whole of a complex society justly drives their hunger for data. But the world, in recent decades, more than at any earlier time, has reasons to fear the kings who know too much.  The secret police who hold all secrets but from whom no hint of ours is secret.  Brenda Leong of the Future of Privacy Forum presides over this topic.

For the next exhibit in our agenda tour Dr. Adrian Gropper updates the Colloquium audience on the cutting edge information techniques of contemporary health care, aided by a full corpus of patients’ medical histories, and the accompanying moral quandaries of honoring patients’ privacy.         

Next stop on the tour of IT innovations brings us to the fabled Internet of Things, or IoT, the science of coordinated systems.  Fernando Torres, a native of Bolivia, heading NanoTech Computer Consulting, LLC in Alexandria, Virginia, explains the logic of these systems and their impacts on privacy.  Stacey Gray, Policy Counsel with the Future of Privacy organization, a repeat speaker in our seminars, offers a penetrating account of the technical achievements of IoT installations, from the traffic signals and trash collections in
“smart cities” to the interplay of lights and climate controls in a large house, to the intricate interactions of myriad processes in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals.  Discussions gravitate at all events to the impacts on privacy that may be enabled through the very multiplicity of data flows and the immense data volumes in these installations, as disclosure is threatened to unwanted eavesdroppers — and the contriving of effective shields. 

Additionally, Dialogue on Diversity will be giving the 2019 Internet Data Privacy Award to Brenda Leong, Senior Counsel and Director of Strategy, Future of Privacy Forum.

Dialogue on Diversity, a not-for-profit organization based in Washington, is dedicated to exploring a range of public policy and social issues, mainly those of special concern to Latino and entrepreneurial women of the country’s diverse ethnic map, all of these presentations targeting the complex of diverse cultures that power the productive engine and fuel the intellectual energies that sustain a progressive society.  Registration for the coming February 27th Colloquium can be made at


Maritza, 703-631-0650