I very much enjoyed attending and speaking at the second biennial ISKO UK conference – Facets of Knowledge Organization – A tribute to Professor Brian C. Vickery (1918-2009) – last week. I have written a review of the conference for the ISKO UK blog.
I was asked to write about privacy for Information Today Europe.
In under 1,000 words it is not easy to cover such a huge topic, so I tried to take a bird’s eye view and put just a few of the issues into a broad context. Most people focus on quite a narrow angle – for example information security, or libel cases – but the topic covers far wider socio-cultural issues. From hacking, to government surveillance, to Facebook as a marketing tool, to family logins for online services, to personalisation, and even neuroscience, what is known about us and who may know it runs right through the heart of our interactions and transactions.
Privacy is also a very hot topic, with Radio Four’s PM running a series – The Privacy Commission, and legislators trying to figure out what sort of a legal framework we need to balance the often competing interests in privacy of the rich and famous, the ordinary citizen, the family member, the child, commercial organisations, the government. There is much to consider as we rely more and more on “black boxed” algorithms and processors as our information mediators.