Published on May 30th, 2018 | by Ido Kenan0
😷 GDPR and Privacy 🎙️ Lex Cybernatica podcast E03
In the third episode of Lex Cybernetica, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Cyber Security Research Center‘s podcast, we look into digital privacy and how to protect it, with our guests Dr. Katrina Ligett, who talks about defending privacy in a digital world; Israeli Privacy Protection Authority’s Adv. Limor Shmerling Magazanik, who talks about the regulator’s role in preserving privacy; Adv. Yoram Lichtenstein, who talks about the legal challenges; and Lex Cybernetica’s host, digital culture blogger and podcaster Ido Kenan.
Chinese police recently detained a 31 year old fugitive wanted for unspecified economic crimes. The man, identified only by his surname, Ao, was caught in Nanchang, Jiangxi province, 90 KM from his Zhangshu home. He was reportedly shocked when police got hold of him, because he was singled out at a Jacky Cheung concert, which he complatently attended with his wife and a 50 thousand strong audience, by facial recognition technology. He said he wouldn’t have gone had he known the police would be able to Where’s Waldo him. Another shocking, tech driven privacy invading was at the center of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, where 87 million users’ personal Facebook data had been compromised, among them a 33 year old American by the name of Mark Zuckerberg.
Privacy is a relatively new concept in human history. Companies and organizations that wish to breach our privacy for their purposes, be they making money, keeping social order or achieving world dominance, are usually more well funded, and oftentimes way more tech savvy, than those fighting the good privacy fight, while the general public seem to be lazily indifferent to the dangers of surveillance capitalism.
Technology and innovation disrupt privacy in a way which is overwhelming even to the those who closely follow tech. We constantly hear of new ways of extracting data from people and their gadgets, legally, illegally, and that “barelegally” grey area; and of methods brand-new data can be deduced from existing, seemingly banal data.
This means that data we’ve given, informedly or obliviously, could be used to find out things about us that we didn’t even realize were possible to infer from that data; that information we dole out today might be abused in the future, using methods that don’t even exist yet; and that there’s not much we can do about it, since we can’t retract private information once it’s out, the same way we can’t unpop a Tide-pod once we tried to eat it.
We live in an era where personal data is one of the hottest commodities. Initiatives like the European Union’s GDPR are trying to give control over it back to its rightful owners. It’s one of the most important uphill battles of our digital times.