Snowden espouses about data ethics and privacy

In the aftermath of Edward Snowden’s controversial leaks that revealed widespread US surveillance and data gathering, researchers, scholars, lawyers, and privacy advocates gathered at the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities at Bard College to engage in conversations about privacy and data ethics.

The Internet of Things continues to grow, and big data has the potential to drive big changes in how society defines privacy. Roger Berkowitz, associate professor of Political Science and Human Rights at Bard College, said many consumers are willing to sacrifice their privacy in exchange for the conveniences technology affords them.

Oft heard in debates over why privacy matters is the argument “I have nothing to hide.” Whether indifferent or apathetic, some people don’t take umbrage with government surveillance or data collection.

Privacy advocates, though, are concerned about big data whether collected through government surveillance or user devices. Former NSA contractor and keynote speaker at the “Surveillance and the Private Life: Why Privacy Matters” conference, Snowden argued, “Privacy isn’t about something to hide. It’s about something to lose.”

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