31 with 21 posters participating
At the Ars Frontiers event in Washington, DC, I had the privilege of moderating two panels on two closely linked topics: digital privacy and information security. Despite significant attempts to improve things, conflicting priorities and inadequate policy have weakened both privacy and security. Some of the same fundamental issues underly the weaknesses in both: Digital privacy and information security are still too demanding for average people to manage, let alone master.
Our privacy panel consisted of Electronic Frontier Foundation deputy executive Kurt Opsahl, security researcher Runa Sandvik, and ACLU Senior Policy Analyst Jay Stanley. Individuals trying to protect their digital privacy face “a constant arms race between what the companies are trying to do, or doing because they can, versus then what people are saying that they either like or don’t like,” Sandvik explained.
The panelists pointed out the gap in how privacy is treated in the US compared to Europe and elsewhere. “In a lot of places, privacy is considered to be a human right,” Opsahl said, “not a transactional concept that you pay with things for your privacy.” According to Opsahl, the transactional nature of how privacy is treated in the US “risks commodifying an essential part of who you are and what your being is.”
Stanley described the US as “among the most wild, Wild West countries in the world” regarding privacy. “We’re the only major country that doesn’t have an overarching privacy law,” he said. “That matters a lot… if you don’t have a national standard [for privacy], then there’s not stability of expectations.”
Click here for transcript.