SIF2014 Unconference session: The Balancing Act – How to guarantee privacy in a world where surveillance is a reality?

In the aftermath of the NSA leaks, the debate about internet-based surveillance is more polarized than ever before. On the one hand, privacy advocates seek support in human rights calling for a halt of government telecommunication mass surveillance. On the other hand, security agencies and police authorities claim their urgent need to use such methods to prevent and resolve crime and to uphold national and international security.

Despite many legal and technical attempts to find satisfactory solutions, the central question remain unanswered: do we have to settle for either security or privacy, or is it possible to combine privacy with surveillance on the internet? If so, how is this balance accomplished and maintained? Do we rely on technical, financial, legal, or social mechanisms for doing so, or a combination of all? Is it possible to provide transparency without affecting national security?

We will start off our session by providing three different perspectives on the topic from an expert panel representing government authorities, corporations, and privacy NGO’s, after which we invite the audience to an open discussion.

Hosts are Jacob Dexe, Fores Think tank’s program for Digital Society, and Markus Bylund, senior scientist at SICS Swedish ICT and author of the book ”Privacy on the Net” (Personlig integritet på nätet).