MLK Symposium speaker: Jonathan Obar

Fri, 02/05/2016 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

NOTE NEW LOCATION: 1255 North Quad

Preventing Big Data Discrimination: Addressing Flawed Notice and Choice Privacy Policy

A 2014 White House Report on Big Data suggested that “big data analytics have the potential to eclipse longstanding civil rights protections in how personal information is used in housing, credit, employment, health, education, and the marketplace.” In light of growing empirical evidence that forms of discrimination (including racial bias) may already be built-into a mosaic of Big Data approaches, this presentation aims to address a first step for preventing Big Data discrimination.

The central argument suggests that consistent and growing evidence that longstanding notice (i.e. privacy policies) and choice (i.e. user access and control of data) privacy policy is deeply flawed, requiring that we both call attention to the failures of the model and propose alternatives. Results from an ongoing quantitative survey analysis co-authored with Dr. Anne Oeldorf-Hirsch (University of Connecticut) demonstrating the extent to which users ignore terms of service and privacy policies online will be presented to demonstrate notice policy flaws.

The fallacy of data privacy self-management, an argument recently published by Dr. Obar in Big Data and Society, will be presented next to argue for flawed choice policy. Providing individuals the opportunity to access and control their data is not enough. Representative data management is offered as a pragmatic solution to the challenges faced. A number of startups in the infomediary market will be profiled to justify this proposal. 

Lunch will be provided. 

Please RSVP here.

About the speaker:

Jonathan Obar is an assistant professor in the Communication and Digital Media Studies program at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. He also serves as a research associate with the Quello Center for Telecommunication Management and Law at Michigan State University. His research appears in a variety of academic journals and addresses the impact digital technologies have on civil liberties, civic engagement, and the inclusiveness of public culture.

Recent published papers are available on Dr. Obar's faculty page.

 This event is hosted by the Multi-Ethnic Information Exchange (MIX )student group as part of the MLK Symposium, and sponsored by the UMSI Diversity Committee and the Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs (MESA).