With every click and swipe, we can access unimaginable amounts of information online. We also leave a trail of personal data, revealing secrets about our health, habits, beliefs, connections and plans. This fall, the University of Arizona College of Social & Behavioral Sciences will host a series of discussions with national privacy experts who will explore the benefits and dangers of the digital age. Some of the participants will include the director of the Family Safety Online Institute, the CEO and CRO of MediaBrix, the director of research and development at Fitbit, Inc., and a professor in the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. http://sbsdowntown.arizona.edu/
Titled “Conversations on Privacy,” the series will be held on five consecutive Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. from Oct. 19 to Nov. 16 at the Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 W. Congress St.
This year’s series departs from the lecture format of the last three years of the Downtown Series—which focused on happiness, food and immortality. Instead, the College of SBS is presenting a series of conversations between UA faculty and industry leaders that explore privacy in relation to government, corporations, the media, family and peers, and health care.
“As in previous years, we selected a theme that relates to our everyday lives,” said John Paul Jones III, dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. “The challenges to personal privacy brought by advances in digital technology are enormous, and they are controversial. In fact, new technologies are redefining the very notion of privacy. I trust that these conversations between experts in and outside academia will increase our understanding about one of the defining topics of our time.”
The conversations broaden the discussion started with the College of SBS “Conversation on Privacy” event last March featuring former NSA subcontractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden, MIT professor Noam Chomsky, and journalist Glenn Greenwald.
The conversations are free and seating will be first-come, first-served. The public can reserve tickets for each event in advance through Eventbrite. Tickets are also available at the Fox Tucson Theatre box office on the day of the event.
The Arizona Daily Star will publish recaps written by UA journalism students in the “Law and Journalism” class taught by David Cuillier, director of the UA School of Journalism.
Below is a summary of the topics and speakers in the year’s series:
Oct. 19 – Kids Online: Relationships and Privacy in a World of Tinder, Twitter and Hello Barbie
From baby photos posted on grandma’s Facebook page to Snapchat selfies, today’s children and teens are growing up publicly online. How is the first digital generation managing their online identity and interactions and how will they redefine “privacy"? How is the digital divide influencing the way kids and parents communicate? What can families, schools, communities, and kids do to ensure safe and fulfilling interactions in an online world? Chris Segrin, head of the UA Department of Communication will tackle these questions with Stephen Balkam, founder and CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute, and Amanda Lenhart, senior research scientist at the AP-NOC Center for Public Affairs Research.
Oct. 26 – Media Exposé: Fame and Shame in the Digital Age
In the digital world, we leave a trail of information that can be easily obtained and posted online for everyone to see forever. For journalists trying to hold governments and corporations accountable, this information can be helpful in exposing wrongdoing. For private citizens and celebrities, however, the online publication of personal information can be devastating. David Cuiller, director of the UA School of Journalism,; Emma Llansó, director of the Free Expression Project with the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT); and Jack Gillum, an Associated Press reporter covering privacy, technology, and surveillance.will discuss how we balance the public’s right to know with the individual’s right to privacy.
Nov. 2 – Corporate Data Collection: What Are We Willing to Give?
Companies collect information from customers to provide customized services and stay competitive. Customers too can find value in exchanging their information for personalized services. What are the trade-offs you make when you pay for services with personal information? The panel will also delve into the future of corporate data collection and digital advertising, including facial recognition technology, mobile location analysis, and the “internet of things.” The conversation will be led by Laura Brandimarte, assistant professor in the Management Information Systems Department at the UA Eller College of Management, with Richard Kosinski, president of MediaBrix; Deirdre Mulligan, co-director of the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology; and Ashkan Soltani, former chief technologist for the Federal Trade Commission.
Nov. 9 – Bodies and Health: Wearing Your Doctor on Your Wrist
Your medical tests, mobile health apps, and wearable devices produce data that reveal insights into your health and behavior. What happens to that data? This conversation will explore how new and emerging technologies are changing public health, the practice of medicine, and employment and insurance. The panel will highlight the biggest risks to your privacy and meaningful ways to maintain control over your personal information without losing the health benefits of the digital revolution. Jane Bambauer, an assistant professor in the UA James E. Rogers College of Law will lead the conversation with Michelle De Mooy, director for the Privacy and Data Project at the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), and Shelten Yuen, director of research and development at Fitbit Inc.
Nov. 16 – Government Surveillance: Finding the Right Balance for Democracy
Governments have an unprecedented ability to collect data on our whereabouts, conversations, habits, purchases, and connections. Many are concerned that this new level of surveillance will impede free speech and the ability of social movements to organize. However, illegal groups and networks also use these same devices to organize, recruit and do harm. Surveillance of these “dark networks” can do much to protect society at large. Brint Milward, director of the UA School of Government and Public Policy; Jennifer Earl, UA professor of sociology; and Aaron Brantly, assistant professor in the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, will grapple with how a democratic society can achieve an acceptable tradeoff between individual privacy rights, the rights of free speech, and national security.
The “Conversations on Privacy” Downtown Series is sponsored by the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund; the Don Bennett Moon Foundation; UA Online; Arizona Daily Star; and Tucson Medical Center. Additional support comes from the Center for Democracy and Technology; Downtown Kitchen and Cocktails; Fox Tucson Theatre; Raskob Kambourian Financial Advisors, LTD; UA Center for Digital Society and Data Studies; UA Eller College of Management; and UA Rogers College of Law.