UKON 2018: Ivana Bartoletti on security versus privacy in data use

Session 2 began with a presentation by Ivana Bartoletti

What is a good use of data? She works a lot with smart metering, smart homes and connected cities. To address population growth and climate change, we need new thinking. Big Data can help with this, but there are serious privacy concerns about it. Individuals need to be able to discover exactly what data concerns them.

People don’t want to give up with Google Maps and Facebook. These free services have become part of our life and help with our daily tasks. Therefore transparency has become more important than ever. The new GDPR is relevant in this context. Privacy terms on websites are difficult to read and are often convoluted.

The new legislation describes the right of erasure. It states that all available technology needs to be used to delete data – this includes contacting any other companies that might have used that person’s data. Transparency is vital, especially as bias can easily creep in when analysing personal data / profiling. GDPR was created to support the single digital market. The free flow of data across the EU is an important discussion point as part of Brexit.

Must redefine the concept of personal data. We should not define personal data as something we own – it’s something we are. If we think of it as a car that we can sell, we are taking the wrong approach. Instead, it’s like our heart – it’s who we are. So, your Facebook account is part of your personality. Shifting this definition can drive and inform the debate about the transaction of data in return for free services.

This will result in a new ethical debate about how personal data is used. Corporations don’t always understand the data, and therefore struggle to govern it properly. You need an open information system with a high level of transparency and interoperability. Ontologies have a very big potential in this area.

Practically speaking, how would changing how we perceive our personal data (as who we are) change our day to day life?

It will be very challenging to remove someone’s personal data from publications / studies. Will papers have to be changed after they’ve been published? You need to consider if it is personal or anonymized data. You need to de-identify data much more carefully. This question shows how important it is to extract data.

There is a conflict between personal data and personal identity. We often use the data to establish the identity rather than just for the purpose of sharing data. Digital identities are an important part of this research.

Please note that this post is merely my notes on the presentations. I may have made mistakes: these notes are not guaranteed to be correct. Unless explicitly stated, they represent neither my opinions nor the opinions of my employers. Any errors you can assume to be mine and not the speaker’s. I’m happy to correct any errors you may spot – just let me know!

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