Big Data, Part 2
We leave a digital trail behind us everywhere we go: the calls we make, the emails we send, the links on which we click, the websites and documents that we retrieve. This also includes our social relationships, habits, preferences, even our movements in space and time. IDEAS, CBC RADIO ONE in partnership with the MUNK School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto weighs the opportunities, the risks -- and the trade-offs -- as the world of Big Data relentlessly changes our lives.**This episode originally aired June 30, 2016.
Big Data Part 2: Big Data or Big Brother? Citizenship and Security in the Age of Big Data
Big Data does not evaporate. It accumulates, creating a new, exponentially expanding system of planetary information. The Snowden/NSA revelations have shown that the U.S. and its allies' secretive "signals intelligence agencies" routinely collect, mine and analyze this system, partly with help from the private companies that operate it. But what are the risks and trade-offs for liberty and privacy? And, who guards against abuses of power when the state watches everything and everyone, all the time?
Ann Cavoukian, Executive Director of the Privacy and Big Data Institute at Ryerson University and former Information and Privacy Commissioner (three terms) for the province of Ontario; Ronald J. Deibert, OOnt, Professor of Political Science, and Director of the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs; Neil Desai, executive with Magnet Forensics, a software company that provides digital forensic tools to law enforcement and national security agencies around the world; and moderator Stephen Toope, Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs, grapple with Big Data, national security and our rights -- as citizens -- in relation to the State.
Big Data, Part 2 was recorded in front of a live audience at the Munk School of Global Affairs on May 10, 2016. Listen to the Question and Answer session which followed the panel.
"There's a lot confusion as to what privacy is and is not. And people sometimes think this equals secrecy and nothing could be further from the truth. Privacy is about control – personal control - over the uses of your personal information. And in the world of Big Data, that notion of control is fleeting. It may evade our ability to exert any influence over the uses of our information." -- Dr. Ann Cavoukian
Ronald J. Deibert, OOnt, is a Professor of Political Science, and Director of the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. The Citizen Lab is an interdisciplinary research and development laboratory working at the intersection of the digital technologies, global security, and human rights. He was a co-founder and a principal investigator of the OpenNet Initiative (2003-2014) and Information Warfare Monitor (2003-2012) projects. He was also was one of the founders and (former) VP of global policy and outreach for Psiphon, one of the world's leading digital censorship circumvention services. Diebert has published three books and hundreds of articles on digital security and human rights. In 2013, he was appointed to the Order of Ontario and awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal, for being "among the first to recognize and take measures to mitigate growing threats to communications rights, openness and security worldwide."
"The Big Data revolution has tangibly improved the lives of millions if not billions of people around the world. It's also proliferated new forms of crime and suffering around the world. While we can celebrate the opportunities that come from the Big Data revolution, we also have to reconcile these challenges as we go forward." -- Neil Desai
Neil Desai is an executive with Magnet Forensics, a Waterloo, Ontario-based software company that provides digital forensic tools to law enforcement and national security agencies around the world. He previously served in senior roles with the Government of Canada including positions with Global Affairs Canada and the Prime Minister's Office. Neil is a Fellow with the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto and the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. He is a contributor to the Globe and Mail's editorial page on issues ranging from competitiveness to diplomacy and national security. He holds a master's degree from the London School of Economics and a bachelor's degree with honours from Carleton University.
"I've spent a lot of my life thinking about questions of human rights. And as soon as we think about privacy in relation to large corporations and Big Data in relation to national security, human rights are deeply implicated. But everything's changing and I don't really understand it." -- Stephen J. Toope
Professor Stephen J. Toope is Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs. Before joining the Munk School in January 2015, Professor Toope was President of the University of British Columbia from 2006 to 2014. He represented Western Europe and North America on the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances from 2002-2007. He continues to conduct research on many aspects of international law and is currently working on issues of continuity and change in international law, and the origins of international obligation in international society. Before joining UBC, Toope was President of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, and Dean of Law at McGill. A Canadian citizen, Professor Toope earned his PhD from Trinity College, Cambridge, his degrees in common law (LLB) and civil law (BCL) with honours from McGill University, and graduated magna cum laude with his AB in History and Literature from Harvard University.
From Ann Cavoukian:
- Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott, Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin is Changing Money, Business, and the World, Penguin Canada, May 7, 2016
- Michael Fertik and David C. Thompson, The Reputation Economy: How To Optimize Your Digital Footprint In A World Where Your Reputation Is Your Most Valuable Asset, The Crown Publishing Group, January 20, 2015
- Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier, Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, March 4, 2014
From Ronald Deibert:
- Deibert, Ron. (2013). Black Code: Surveillance, Privacy, and the Dark Side of the Internet (Paperback edition) Toronto, Ontario: McClelland & Stewart.
- Schneier, Bruce. (2015) Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World, New York and London: W.W. Norton.
- Zetter, Kim. (2014) Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet an the Launch of the World's First Digital Weapon, New York: Crown Publishing.
- Goodman, Marc (2015) Future Crimes: Everything is Connected, Everyone is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It. New York: Random House.
From Neil Desai:
- Government and industry must find middle ground on encryption - Globe & Mail: This is an article I authored in the Globe and Mail looking at the challenge of absolute positions on the issue of civil liberties versus security in the age of big data.
- Cybercrime: an overview of incidents and issues in Canada Commentary: This 2014 report by the RCMP gives a good overview of the challenges as they relate to crime emanating online or leveraging technology.
- International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children/Project Vic: While the advent of the Internet has created new industries and allowed for greater social interaction it to has created a new world of crime and despair. One area is in the realm of child pornography which has exploded in the Internet-age. Project Vic is an effort of by the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, law enforcement and private industry to curb this activity and identify child victims.
- Bartlett, Jamie, The Dark Net, Melville House, 2015.
- Glenny, Misha, DarkMarket: Cyberthieves, Cybercops and You, Bodley Head, 2011.
- Goodman, Marc, Future Crimes: Inside the Digital Underground and the Battle for Our Connected World, First Anchor Books, January 2016
The Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto brings together the best minds to advance the latest thinking on global issues. Its mission is to integrate research on global affairs with teaching and public education.
**Big Data was produced by Sara Wolch
Video clip photo credits:
1. Anonymous crowd of people walking on a busy New York City street. (Shutterstock ID 160438778)
2. Commuters are seen on the sidewalk near a Metro station on May 27, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)
3. This photo taken on July 22, 2015 shows a woman using a smartphone while waiting outside an apartment building in Beijing. (Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images)
4. Mobile phone users are shown in downtown Toronto on Tuesday, May 24, 2016. (Eduardo Lima/The Canadian Press)
5. Young adults split their time between the televised debate and Twitter on their smart phones during a debate watch party at the Local 16 bar and restaurant October 13, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
6. People use their smartphones while they queue in the early hours for the opening of Puerta del Sol Apple Store as Apple launches iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus on September 26, 2014 in Madrid, Spain. (Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)
7. A general view as volunteers gathered at UCL to mark the launch of a brand new mobile phone game, Sea Hero Quest and become a part of scientific history on May 3, 2016 in London, England. (Ian Gavan/Getty Images for Deutsche Telekom)
8. People use their smartphones on July 16, 2014 in Tokyo, Japan. (Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)
9. A woman checks her cell phone at a coffee shop in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015. (Andre Penner/AP Photo)
10. A mobile phone user is shown in downtown Toronto on Tuesday, May 24, 2016. (Eduardo Lima/The Canadian Press)
11. A woman uses her smart phone as she walks on 47th Street November 13, 2014 in New York. (Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)
12. Mobile phone users are shown in downtown Toronto on Tuesday, May 24, 2016. (Eduardo Lima/The Canadian Press)
13. A woman takes a cell phone picture of the snow in Washington Square Park in Manhattan on March 20, 2015 in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
14. A computer screen inbox displaying unsolicited emails known as "spam" in Hong Kong on March 20, 2009. (Mike Clarke/AFP/Getty Images)
15. A woman walks past the Bank of Canada office in Ottawa, Canada July 16, 2015. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)
16. Hundreds of people queue during the official opening of South Africa's first Starbucks store, also the US coffeehouse chain's first store in Sub-Saharan Africa, in Johannesburg on April 21, 2016. (Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images)
17. A photo taken in the western French city of Rennes on November 7, 2013 shows an official Twitter account on a smartphone. (Damien Meyer/AFP/Getty Images)
18. This picture taken on March 19, 2013 shows friends looking at their smartphones at a coffee shop in a shopping mall in Bangkok. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images)
20. A wifi logo is pictured during the 2014 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on February 26, 2014. (Josep Lago/AFP/Getty Images)
21. At sea - October 18: Onboard Team Alvimedica. Day 8. Day of the Cape Verdes transit and decision time for the Equator / Doldrums approach. (Amory Ross/Team Alvimedica/Volvo Ocean Race via Getty Images)
22. This picture taken on March 19, 2013 shows a woman looking at her smartphone while walking at a BTS train station in Bangkok. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images)
23. A customer gets his new iPhone set up at Puerta del Sol Apple Store as Apple launches iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus on September 26, 2014 in Madrid, Spain. (Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)
24. Audience take pictures with their mobile phones of French artist David Guetta on stage, in a resort of Magaluf in Calvia town on Mallorca island on August 21, 2015. (Jaime Reina/AFP/Getty Images)
25. Indian women use their smartphones as they travel in the metro carriage reserved for women in New Delhi on July 14, 2015. (Anna Zieminski/AFP/Getty Images)
26. Altar boys cheer as Pope Francis arrives in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, on February 17, 2016. (Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images)
27. Women look at their cell phones at the Assateague Island National Seashore near Berlin, Maryland on November 27, 2015. (Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images)
28. U.N. personnel take pictures as Pope Francis arrives to greet UN staff members at United Nations headquarters with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in New York September. 25, 2015. (Kevin Hagen/Reuters)
29. Women dressed as Snegurochka (Snow Maiden) look at a mobile phone during New Year's parade in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek on December 31, 2015. (Vyacheslav Oseledko/AFP/Getty Images)
30. Faithful use smartphones as Pope Francis leaves at the end of his weekly audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican May 11, 2016. (Stefano Rellandini/Reuters)
31. A general view as volunteers gathered at UCL to mark the launch of a brand new mobile phone game, Sea Hero Quest and become a part of scientific history on May 3, 2016 in London, England. (John Phillips/Getty Images for Deutsche Telekom)
32. Debutantes from a local academy look at their mobile phones before taking part in the Vienna Ball at the Kempinski Hotel on March 19, 2016 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
33. Fans in the crowd hold their mobile phones aloft as they wait for Kendall Jenner and Kylie Jenner to arrive at Chadstone Shopping Centre on November 18, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
34.The crowd photograph the show on thier mobile phones as a model walks the runway during The Innovators: Fashion Design Studio show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Resort 17 Collections on May 20, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
35. A Salvadorian girl plays on a smartphone at the Greyhound bus station before her family's trip to Houston on July 25, 2014 in McAllen, Texas. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)