Outline: Civil society, legal/interstate and technical community responses to the challenges to privacy (talk on “Privacy in the Age of Big Data” )

We have moved on to an important stage in the evolution of the internet characterized by an increasing demand from all sectors of society to regain control. This stage is comprised by legal/interstate responses to the challenges to privacy, technical community responses and civil society sentiments and actions.

Here’s a non-exhaustive and simplified outline of the most significant different sector responses right now (from a Eurocentric point of view):

My recent talk on “Privacy in the Age of Big Data” at the Insafe seminar in Bratislava included among others this outline:



1. “We need to rebuild trust”

The internet as it is holds a great potential, but trust was shaken last year. We need to rebuild trust by   a) legal reform b) transparency. The key response here is requests from social media giants to governments for legal reform and that they are allowed to publish data about government requests for their user’s data. (The so called “transparency reports”)

2.Why should we trust an internet that is broken?”

a)  The internet is broken. The original protocols of the internet were only built to support a very small network of academics and government users who trusted each other. The development of the internet into the World Wide Web with billions of users and services, has exceeded the capabilities of the internet. Security and data protection were later patchworks.

b) The main business models of the internet are “broken”. They are based on monopoly and personal data as capital and are controversial to the original idea about a free internet

The result is a rise in:

Alternative business models

Alliances and services that build privacy, data ownership and security in the original design.

Privacy as innovation and investment.


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