SXSW Interactive 2015

Data (in)security: MIT scientists tackle privacy

In recent years no technology issue has drawn as much debate as data privacy, from revelations about government surveillance to major corporate data breaches.

The topic has spurred tough questions about the balance between access and privacy and how to use data to help solve problems without sacrificing anonymity.

If anyone can tackle these issues, it’s the team at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). Since the lab’s founding 50 years ago, its researchers have been at the hub of the technology revolution and key players in developing innovations like the personal computer, Ethernet and the World Wide Web.

A panel of CSAIL’s leading thinkers - including cryptography expert Shafi Goldwasser, RSA algorithm co-inventor Ron Rivest, and former White House adviser Danny Weitzner - will discuss their work on the subject and the biggest challenges for today’s data scientists and privacy advocates.

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  1. How has the rise of Big Data changed the nature of our lives as private citizens?
  2. How can we utilize personal information to solve societal problems, without sacrificing anonymity or having it be used for detrimental purposes?
  3. What sorts of technologies can we put in place to help us better understand and even control how our information is being used?
  4. How can cryptography and data science give us confidence in privacy matters that are essential to our democracy, like voting?
  5. What will the future of data privacy look like, and what are the biggest technical challenges we should focus on?



Adam Conner-Simons, Communications Coordinator, MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab

Meta Information:

  • Tags: privacy
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Privacy and Security
  • Track 2
  • Level: Advanced
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