Privacy & Data

Thursday, 12 October, 19:30-21:00

What can really go wrong when you share data about yourself with companies? After all, you don't have anything to hide, do you? Keynote speaker Prof. Helen Nissenbaum and the UvA's Prof. Marieke de Goede challenge each other and the audience on 12 October at the Aula when they explore the shifting boundaries of privacy as corporate and governmental hunger for personal data spirals out of control.

During this first Challenging Society Session: Privacy & Data on 12 October, the UvA will present, from 19:30-21:00, a programme that will examine the question of how technological developments are changing the way, and extent to which, we share information, and what effect this is having on our privacy

Together with renowned keynote speaker Prof. Helen Nissenbaum and UvA scientist Prof. Marieke de Goede, the boundaries of the theme will be explored. Moderator Maurits Martijn (De Correspondent) will challenge the scientists to look critically at the development of new scientific concepts or innovations, and the developments in society.

Privacy as contextual integrity

Prof. Helen Nissenbaum (NYU/Cornell Tech) is highly respected all over the world by her peers in this domain and has a nuanced vision on our way of thinking about privacy and how we can tackle sharing our information in a completely different way as a result of ‘disruptive technologies’ (technology that can replace an entire industry or create a completely new one). According to Nissenbaum, complete privacy does not exist: you always share information with each other. It is becoming increasingly important to decide in which context you are prepared to share information and when this is inappropriate (Privacy in context, 2010). Furthermore, privacy does not only relate to an individual according to Nissenbaum, but also to complete groups of people. Take, for example, purchases that are offered to you on the basis of information that other people have shared about themselves.

In addition to being an academic in the field of ‘digital ethics’, Nissenbaum is also an activist. Together with hackers and computer scientists, she has developed ‘TrackMeNot’, which puts up a digital ‘smoke screen’ when you use a search engine.

The UvA Challenger

Prof. Marieke de Goede has the role of UvA Challenger this evening. De Goede is a political scientist with the research group ‘Transnational Configurations, Conflict and Governance’ of the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR). De Goede has conducted research, among other things, into the differences and similarities in policy for the localisation of security risks using ‘risk analysis’. De Goede researched which preventative security measures the European Union implements. It turns out, for example, that measures to combat terrorism do not differ much from those of the United States. For example, connecting commercial data, freezing bank accounts and exchanging ‘black lists’.

Moderator Maurits Martijn

In his book ‘Je hebt wél iets te verbergen’ (‘You do have something to hide’, 2016), journalist Maurits Martin describes an incident where a man is suspected of radical practices, because a number of IP addresses originating from Jordan appear to have been bought via his telephone subscription. The person in question had only booked a flight to Los Angeles and was not aware of any wrongdoing, when it turned out that, as a result of this, he had ended up on a so-called ‘black list’. A typical example of ‘risk analysis’ that was totally wrong.

In addition to this book, Maurits Martijn wrote a series of articles on the theme ‘Privacy & Data’ in the Dutch online journalism platform De Correspondent, including an interview with Helen Nissenbaum.

Which questions do you have?

Share critical questions with us that you would like to see answered during this evening. A team of students will collect these questions as the basis for propositions for the speakers and the audience. You can send your question directly when registering for this evening.

Register now for the ‘Privacy & Data’ session

On 12 October from 19:30, you are welcome in the Aula to participate in this unique evening. This is the first evening of the series ‘Challenging Society Sessions’ in connection with the 385th anniversary of the University of Amsterdam (UvA).

Challenging Society Sessions

Other sessions include the themes:

  • 14 November, Global Migration: crititical issue or grand illusion? With Prof. Ronald Skeldon (University of Sussex)
  • 22 February, Human Enhancement. With Prof. Barbara Sahakian (Cambridge University)
  • 15 March, Challenging Europe. With Prof. Jacques Rupnik (SciencesPo)
  • April, Future Banking
  • 15 May, Remaking Nature. With Prof. Sheila Jasanoff vs UvA Challenger Rector Prof. Karen Maex

Gepubliceerd door  Universiteit van Amsterdam

11 oktober 2017