Mar 28: "Governance Issues for Private Data Stores"

Harvard Topics in Privacy (TIP) Seminar : Governance Issues for Private Data Stores. Cohosted with the Web Science Trust.

Harvard Faculty Club March 28th 8:30am - 3:30pm

**Please RVSP by March 24th by email to**

Convener : John Taysom, 2012 Senior Fellow, Advanced Leadership Initiative, and the Web ScienceTrust. Hosted by Harvard Topics in Privacy seminar series.

Objective : To develop a policy recommendation for appropriate governance for private data stores.

Synopsis : Privacy issues dominated the news in 2013 in US, UK and Europe. Governments were seen to have built considerable stores of private data on citizens. Private companies, often without apparently sustainable business models, were seen to be using data collected from users of on-line services in ways that concerned many. Individuals were shown to be identifiable, even when supposedly anonymised, from Big Data sets complied from a broad set of data other than just the legally defined set of ‘Personally Identifiable Information”. On-line services can be seen to be rebuilding ‘walled gardens’ around the ability to track users from device to device and hence to maximise their advertising revenues often at the expense of independent services on the wider web. None of these are desirable developments. And yet free web content, especially news, is arguably a public good. The problem is arguably a technical one. Javascript introduced the dual nature of web 2.0 : greatly improved information dissemination but also potential for extensive data collection. And a technical solution does look feasible: there are several approaches being developed. But ultimately digital services will always generate activity data and the data is useful to users and potentially powerful for society. So how should personal data stores be managed? Within what governance regime? Within for-profit companies, where history has shown self-regulation to work poorly; legal solutions have been slow, and abuses have been widespread? Or within government departments? This is happening by default in countries where healthcare and education are provided on-line by the State, and is happening by design in, for example, UK with the ‘100,000 genome project’. What are the guiding principles for the governance of private data stores? And what other possible governance structures are there: trusts; B corps in US; CICs in UK; co-ops. Or is a new governance model needed and if so who will innovate that new institution?

Partial list of confirmed attendees:

Academics :

Professor Dame Wendy Hall, Southampton and MIT: co-developer of the concept of ‘linked data’ and co-founder of the Web Sciences Trust, dedicated to studying how society is impacted by the web. Member, Global Commission on Internet Governance.
Prof. Nico Mele, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, author of ‘The End of Big’
Joe Pato, Visiting Scientist – MIT CSAIL, Distinguished Technologist – HP Labs (retired) 
Dr Andreas Wigend - Stanford University and UC Berkeley, Director, Social Data Lab. (past CTO, Keynote speaker at the Federal Trade Commission 2013 symposium on Comprehensive Data Collection
Prof. Jim Waldo, Harvard CTO, Sun Distinguished Engineer,
Dr Dorothy Zinberg, co-founder, Belfer Centre for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University.

Not For Profit Institutions :

Anna Burger, Founder previously Secretary-Treasurer of SEIU, the nation’s fastest growing union, serving from 2001 to 2010. and a member of President Obama’s reconstruction committee
Brendan Eich : co-author JavaScript - and CTO
Danelle Dixon-Thayer, VP and General Counsel. Mozilla
Jordan Mitchell : Internet Advertising Bureau Advertising Technology Council, Founder, The Cookie Trust (a consortium of RTB companies), and VP, Rubicon Project.
Sir Henry Studholme, Chair, The Forestry Commission, Chairman, Phaunos Timber Fund.
Al Zollar, past General Manager, IBM Tivoli Software
Senior ACLU representative - tbc
John Wilbanks, Chief Commons Officer at Sage Bionetworks and a Senior Fellow at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and at FasterCures. Director, Consent to Research Project.[1]

For Profit Companies:

Steve MacBeth, Microsoft Partner Engineering Manager. Lead engineer Personal Cloud project
George Pappachen : Chief Privacy Officer WPP Group and EVP strategy
J.P. Rangaswami : Chief Scientist,
Paul Sagan, Executive Vice Chairman and past CEO, Akamai Technologies
Jim Spanfeller, Spanfeller media Group, (and past Chair, IAB and OPA)
Adam Towvim, CEO, co-founder, TrustLayers

[John Taysom founded the Reuters Venture Capital Fund (The Greenhouse Fund) and made 82 investments for Reuters, among them Yahoo, Verisign, UltraDNA, Equinix, John was a Harvard Advanced Leadership Fellow in 2011 and Senior AL Fellow in 2012 where this project began. John is a past member of the Dean’s Council of the Kennedy School for Government at Harvard.]