Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Seminar 4 Position Statement: Dr. Madeline Carr, Aberystwyth University

Invisible Challenges of the Information Age
International Politics and the Cyber Dimension,
Aberystwyth University

One of the problems with generating an engaged public debate about data security, privacy and transparency is that the practice of collecting and sharing data is largely invisible and inaccessible to most people. Debate tends to focus therefore, on key events; public ‘leaks’ like Wikileaks and Edward Snowden, large-scale data breaches like the Target credentials theft and the Sony hack, and the everyday experience of search queries generating correlated advertising results in our browsers and social media. 

 These tangible and somewhat more visible examples can facilitate discussion but they fail to engage with some of the significant technological, political and commercial changes that face us in the very near future. Migration to IPv6 and the related development of the ‘Internet of Things’ both raise serious questions about informed consent, about accountability and about the legitimate control of personal data. 

Ensuring that civil society interests and human rights are protected as we transition to this next phase of the Information Age is essential but it is not being driven by an informed public debate. The focus of this workshop, which seeks to explore the cultural resources that inform public approaches to norms and practices of surveillance is an important contribution to the DATA-PSST project.

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