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a feminist technology blog

Category: Talks

Fall Speaking Events

Here’s where I’m talking this semester:

October 15th, 2014
Wellesley College (my alma mater!), Wellesley, MA
Newhouse Center for the Humanities Faculty Working Group “Investigating the Socio-Technical”

October 21-24, 2014
Association of Internet Researchers annual meeting 15.0, Daegu, Korea
Show Me Your Selfies pre-conference workshop, showing off the work we’ve been doing with the Selfie Research Network.
Panel on 10 Years of Facebook with Brady Robards, Sian Lincoln, Ben Light and Neha Kumar

November 10, 2014
Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan
Talking about Networked Privacy in social media

November 19, 2014
Privacy Research Group, New York University
Talking about popular conceptions of ethics around the celebrity nudes hacking scandal

New talk: Big Data, Data-Mining, and the Social Web

Today I gave a talk at the Power, Privacy & the Internet event hosted by the New York Review of Books. I was on a heavy-hitting panel with the wonderful James Bamford, who has been writing books taking the NSA to task since I was playing with Barbies– and as a result, knows more about where the NSA came from and where it is going than anyone else I’ve ever met. Rounding out the panel was Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, who has been pressuring the Obama administration to reform the NSA and has met personally with the three out of five members of Obama’s new NSA review board. Phew.

My talk, in contrast, was about the corporate collecting of personal data. I had just seen a fantastic presentation at AOIR by Dave Parry on the Obama campaign’s use of data-mining techniques, and was well-prepared as a result (thanks Dave!).

Here’s the first paragraph of the talk:

While recent revelations regarding the NSA’s role in the collection and mining of the personal information and digital activities of millions of people across the world have garnered immense media attention and public outcry, there are equally troubling and equally opaque systems run by advertising, marketing and data-mining firms which have not attracted as much attention. Using techniques ranging from supermarket loyalty cards to targeted Facebook advertising, private companies systematically collect very personal information, from who you are, to what you do, to what you buy. Data about your online and offline behavior is combined, analyzed, and sold to marketers, corporations, governments, and even criminals. The scope of this collection, aggregation, and brokering of information is similar to, if not larger than, that of the NSA, yet it is almost entirely unregulated and many of the activities of data-mining and digital marketing firms creep under the radar.

You can download a PDF of the entire talk here. Thanks much to #aoircamp for the time and space in which to write it up.

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