The UK's most vociferous privacy campaigners have slammed the British justice system as not fit for purpose, in dealing with damning allegations about internet surveillance, and will take the UK government straight to Strasbourg.
Sanjana Hattotuwa, Special Advisor to the ICT4Peace Foundation, delivered a public lecture on Big Data & social media for crisis management at Zurich's Swiss Federal Institute of Technology - ETH, one of the leading international universities for technology and the natural sciences in the world. The Foundation was invited by Prof. Dirk Helbing, Chair of Sociology, in particular of Modelling and Simulation. ICT4Peace is an active partner of Prof. Helbing's FuturICT project.
Sanjana's presentation looked at events on the ground from his home country, Sri Lanka, as well as, at the time of the presentation, content generation on and around the bombings at the Boston marathon, as key examples of how today information is produced at exponentially increasing rates, leading to new ethical, philosophical, scientific, journalistic, scientific, computational and other challenges, as well as opportunities.
The presentation looked at cities around the world, including from the African subcontinent, embracing big data and making decades of hitherto closed or hard to access information available, for free, in the public domain via the web, and relevant APIs and frameworks. The presentation looked at how even the UN, often perceived as extremely conservative and conventional, is today leading the way in flagging the value of big data and leading the development of platforms as well as political leadership to meaningfully use it in key operations. Through information visualisations, Sanjana demonstrated just how much a city's contours and its population movements could be tracked. Examples were also shown from the world of data driven journalism - how big data, from its production to its consumption and open analysis, is changing the way the news is generated, distributed and engaged with.
The presentation focussed on the impact of big data in humanitarian aid and relief operations, including with the UN OCHA and other key humanitarian actors in the UN system. After going into how digital cartography today is no longer the exclusive domain of GIS experts, Sanjana also flagged key drivers from other domains - from algorithms in the online music industry that can sift through millions of tracks in less than a second to the gamification of disaster response - that will drive both the awareness of big data as well as progress in actually leveraging its potential to really make an impact in the efficiency and effectiveness of relief work.
Finally, Sanjana touched more deeply on some of the ethical and rights based concerns over the generation, use and archival of big data, especially around humanitarian disasters in fragile States, and in post-war contexts. Ending on the note that sharing, not hoarding, firewalling and storing, is the new power, Sanjana flagged the report by the ICT4Peace Foundation The potential and challenges of open data for crisis information management and aid efficiency.
Am 11. und 12. November findet in Luzern das Swiss ICT Symposium 2013 statt. 20 hochkarätige Referenten nehmen Stellung zu den Perspektiven des ICT-Werkplatzes Schweiz. Abgerundet wird der Event durch die Verleihung der Swiss ICT Awards 2013.
Am 11. und. 12. November wird am «Swiss ICT Symposium 2013»* über die Zukunft des ICT-Standorts Schweiz diskutiert. ETH-Professor Dirk Helbing wird dann zeigen, wie er mit «FuturICT» auf einem Computer das ganze Weltgeschehen simulieren und berechenbar machen will. Nationalrat Balthasar Glättli spricht über die Netzneutralität, Stefan Burschka von Ruag identifiziert Botnetze und UBS-CIO Stefan Arn berichtet von seinem Alltag. Auch bekannte Persönlichkeiten aus Kultur (Yello-Mann Dieter Meier) und Sport (Max Heinzer, Weltnummer 1 im Degenfechten) werden aus ihrem Leben erzählen.
European Commission - Press Release - European Commission Neelie Kroes Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda Digital Agenda Priorities Giving a boost to the EU-US relations in the field of ICT – American Chamber...
Neelie Kroes: Digital Agenda Priority speech
....."And last but not least, I have to talk about data and privacy.
Our understanding of privacy is fundamentally changing in the digital age. The rules we have for guarding it have to change too.
That motivation applies to many situations – even those that might seem different on the surface. From the EU’s reform efforts, to the Obama charter supporting a Do Not Track standard, to your Patriot Act, and now the allegations regarding the PRISM programme.
This is a hot topic. Whether privacy is necessary, or possible, and what role policy should play.
I get frustrated when privacy is seen merely as an irritant. Like most Europeans, I see privacy as a fundamental right. And it is set out as such in law.
In my view this leads to a range of policy needs and business opportunities.
First, the US, as a trusted partner needs to be more transparent with Europeans about what has been going on; and it should allow American companies to be more transparent with their customers and potential customers.
If the US government doesn’t choose this course, it will undermine trust in new digital services, with the risk that users will abandon them or never join the digital ranks.
Personally I don't like the idea of data localisation – the idea that data has to be stored where it is gathered. Because then we would miss out on the huge opportunities of a borderless network.
But let’s not be naïve. The PRISM debate will definitely increase calls for a European cloud, with a range of possible consequences for American companies. And PRISM also highlights a golden opportunity for people to make a huge privacy-focussed company. It highlights that being strong on privacy can be a competitive advantage, a great business move, and I welcome that.
Whatever the market developments might be, from a policy perspective, I want Europe to be seen as the safest corner of the internet and for entrepreneurs to be able to build businesses off the back of that.
That is why we have a EU Cloud Computing Strategy, now reinforced by an EU Cybersecurity Strategy. Because we need clear, transparent rules, clear, transparent safeguards, and a clear, transparent legal framework.
I would prefer if that framework were global, but as a minimum we want people to be confident that their data is secure across the EU.
So my message is that we take both trust and security seriously at the EU, and I hope US governments and companies respect that."
Our society is changing. Almost nothing these days works without a computer chip; computing power doubles every 18 months, and in ten years it will probably exceed the capabilities of a human brain. Computers perform approximately 70 percent of all financial transactions today and IBM's Watson now seems to give better customer advise than some human telephone hotlines. The forthcoming economic and social transformation might be more fundamental than the one resulting from the invention of the steam engine. Meanwhile, the storage capacity of data grows even faster than the computational capacity. Within a few years, we will generate more data than in the entire history of humankind. The "Internet of Things" will soon network trillions of sensors together - fridges, coffee machines, electric toothbrushes and even our clothes. Vast amounts of data will be collected. Already, Big Data is being heralded as the oil of the 21st Century. To Read more Click Tottel Link or here:http://futurict.blogspot.ie/2013/07/from-technology-driven-society-to.html?spref=fb
Online PC Magazin, das Schweizer Computer-Magazin für alle PC-, Internet und Telekommunikations-Interessierte. Das einzige Schweizer IT-Magazin mit monatlicher DVD-Beilage.
20 Referenten aus Wirtschaft, Wissenschaft, Politik, Sport und Kultur nehmen am Swiss ICT Symposium Stellung zu Schweizer Innovationen, Technologien und Märkten. Unter ihnen sind UBS-CIO Stefan Arn, ETH-Forscher Prof. Dr. Dirk Helbing, Nationalrat Balthasar Glättli, Green-CEO Franz Grüter und der Künstler, Unternehmer und Bauer Dieter Meier (YELLO).
Thank you very much for your feedback. We always welcome supportive and critical voices in favour of a fruitful and lively debate, which helps us to orient ourselves and collect new ideas to address difficult problems.
The purpose of our social media activities is to inform our community and the public about issues related to the fields of research relevant for FuturICT. This includes complex systems, the information society, and the related ethical and socio-economic opportunities and challenges. We are not engaged for or against a certain political party or movement. But we feature relevant contributions and trends and reflect on them in a way that stimulates interesting or needed debates.
Society expects from scientists that they help to inform the public and that they lead discussions, and make practically relevant contributions. This should not be restricted to technological solutions or marketable products. Scientists should also offer contributions to ethical or societal issues. Albert Einstein and many others have done this as well. In fact, many people think information technologies deserve a public ethical debate in the very same way as we have had a bioethical discussion in the past. I believe that the current discussion will be very important to learn how to unleash the great potentials of the information age and avoid the associated risks.
Within the FuturICT initiative, we have always supported a culture of openness and transparency, and welcomed criticism, because this has helped us to learn and improve, and to unleash creativity. If some of our social media posts may sometimes appear critical, this is not to make trouble to anyone. Our intention is to help decision-makers and society with the means we have.
When scientists come to the conclusion that a certain concept - be it technological, social, economic or political - will not work or may even cause high risks or large-scale disaster, it is the obligation of scientists to point this out. Scientists also need to create awareness of problems that need to be considered or discussed, even if there is no final conclusion, yet. Once we have proper research funding, we will be able to put our preliminary findings to the test, i.e. to substantiate or falsify them. We are taking our job as scientists very seriously.
It is important, however, to underline that it is Moore's law and the progress in information and communication technology which is driving societal change. Our role is to offer an interpretation of what is going on and what may be happening in the near future, and to provide better orientation and guidance in difficult times, where possible.
Our feedback shows that many people appreciate our work, even though not everybody always agrees - but that is part of a lively and pluralistic discussion culture. Please keep sending us your input and contributions that you would like to see posted.