Spring 2019

Perspective: Achieving Meaningful Privacy in Technology and Design

Tuesday, January 29th, 2019 9:30 am10:30 am

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Helen Nissenbaum (Cornell Tech)

Across a range of subfields, computer scientists have risen to society’s call to safeguard privacy through technology, with impressive results. As the fields of privacy science and engineering mature, it’s worth taking a moment to ask how well the underlying ideas of privacy that explicitly and implicitly motivate this work map onto the ideas of privacy that stirred these calls, in the first place — that is, ethically and socially meaningful. In my lecture, I will argue that the theory of  Contextual Integrity (CI) offers an account of privacy that is meaningful in these senses. Further, as an account that is accessible to formal representation, CI may serve to bridge scientific efforts, on the one hand, with outcomes that serve ethical and societal values, on the other. Time permitting, I will describe some past and ongoing applications of contextual integrity, as well as hopes for future work.