Privacy and Consent in the Age of AI and Whistleblowing With Suelette Dreyfus

On today’s episode of AI Australia, we have the pleasure of speaking with Suelette Dreyfus renowned researcher and journalist on digital privacy and whistleblowing. She has a personal connection to these topics and even co-authored a book with Julian Assange. Suelette will explore with us the implications of AI on privacy, the complexity of context able to be extracted from collected data thanks to this technology, as well as tech’s impacts on personal security. She will also cover how technology is changing the world of whistleblowers, what protections citizens have against predatory data collection, and much more. Join us on today’s episode!

More about Suelette Dreyfus:

Suelette Dreyfus is a journalist, technology researcher,  and writer. Her field of research includes information systems, digital security and privacy, the impact of technology on whistleblowing, health informatics, and e-education. 

Her work examines digital whistleblowing as a method of freedom of expression and the right to dissent from corruption. 

Suelette is also a researcher and lecturer in the School of Information and Computing Systems at the University of Melbourne. She is also the principal researcher on an international project testing the impacts of digital technologies on whistleblowing

Additionally, Suelette is the author of the ‘97 cult classic Underground: Tales of Hacking, Madness, and Obsession on the Electronic Frontier which covers the exploits of a group of hackers in the late ‘80s and early ‘90sincluding Julian Assange who is also the co-author of the book. 

  • 6:00 Suelette describes the tradition of privacy in various parts of the world. 
  • 7:00 Suelette discusses the upswing of encryption and whether or not law enforcement has always had access to this information, citing the “right to whisper.” 
  • 12:00 Can the government read our minds? How much does our Google search history reveal? Can you simply use another search engine? What parts of our privacy and ourselves should we be willing to sell?
  • 20:00 Do policies such as GDPR offer protections on things like genetic data? What happens if your data is sold, but it’s wrong? Can you correct it? What legal measures are coming into being surrounding these topics? Are there laws surrounding facial recognition technology?
  • 30:00 What sorts of legislation may come about in Australia in regards to data privacy? How can data be used in nefarious ways such as targeting potential gambling customers based on genetic predisposition to addiction? 
  • 34:00 Where is the line between reasonable persuasion and manipulation? How does this relate to politics? Social media? How do news filter bubbles normalize ideas? Is fact-checking an issue here?
  • 39:00 Suelette discusses whistleblowing and relevant cases. What systems and laws are in place to assist whistleblowers in calling attention to wrongdoings? How are those options changing? Is whistleblowing about fame?
  • 48:00 Suelette discusses Australian legislation that allows for backdoor access to data. What was wrong with this recent bill?
  • 55:00 How are companies choosing to censor people? 
  • 63:00 When did Suelette decide to pursue privacy in her career? How did Julian Assange impact her path? What type of environment and situation is Assange dealing with? What rights are at stake?

Amazon: Underground: Tales of hacking, madness, and obsession on the electronic frontier

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