October 10, 2018

Co-Director Batya Friedman Joins Panel at NAE Annual Meeting on Security and Privacy

On October 1st, 2018, Tech Policy Lab Faculty Co-Director Batya Friedman discussed privacy and security in the 21st century as part of a panel at the 2018 National Academy of Engineering (NAE) annual meeting. Joined by Aanchal Gupta, Director of Security at Facebook, Google’s Global Lead of Privacy Technologies Lea Kissner, and Mike Walker from Microsoft Research NExT, the panel was moderated by MSNBC’s Ali Velshi. The annual meeting brings together NAE members and new inductees who have made outstanding contributions in their fields; the focus of the 2018 meeting was on cybersecurity.

In her opening remarks, Co-Director Friedman makes five observations around important considerations for privacy and security:

  • Privacy includes a constellation of values that are implicated together, such as trust, agency, identity, and dignity.
  • Privacy, security, and cybersecurity are issues that need to be considered in all fields of engineering.
  • We need to challenge ourselves to engineer with a moral and a technical imagination, asking the technical but also societal and ethical questions.
  • We need to challenge ourselves to design and engineer with a longer term timeframe, and consider what steps we should take now to ensure that in 50 years society is in a healthy, flourishing state.
  • Our moral capabilities are lagging behind our technological capabilities, the power of our tools and technologies have far surpassed our moral capabilities to use them wisely.

Professor Friedman leaves us to consider the following questions in design: “How do we bring our tools and technologies and engineering practice into better alignment with our ethical and moral capabilities? What checks and balances should we engineering into our technologies? What, if anything, should we build and why? And what social processing should we put in place for monitoring and holding ourselves as a society accountable for how our technologies are engineered and deployed?”