Finding Our Path To Digital Autonomy: Exploring the Relationship Between Tech Ethics, Privacy and Software Freedom
Reproducible Research Oxford (RROx) aims to support the University of Oxford in developing a coordinated approach to open scholarship and reproducible research across Divisions. Supported by an interdivisional award from the John Fell Fund, RROx operates as the local node of the UK Reproducibility Network (UKRN).
RROx officially launched on 13 January 2020, with a well-attended event, as reported in Research Fortnight. Keynote speakers were Claire Fraser (Senior Higher Education Policy Adviser, Research England), Stephen Curry (Imperial College London and DORA) and Brian Nosek (University of Virginia and Center for Open Science). Video recordings and slides of all the presentations can be accessed here.
Our next event will be a seminar on 5 February at 16:00
(Lecture Theatre B, Department of Computer Science, Parks Road)
Karen Sandler will talk about her work as Executive Director of the Software Freedom Conservancy.
Finding Our Path To Digital Autonomy:
Exploring the Relationship Between Tech Ethics, Privacy and Software Freedom*
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*We increasingly live in a world where technology is embedded in every aspect of our lives. From medical devices to in-home security systems, to oral medication with sensors embedded, much of our personal information is broadcast out of our control with minimal real security on the devices we use. There's often no option to even switch off connectivity of our devices and have them remain functional. We are regularly asked to accept terms of service that no reasonable person could read and understand. It's becoming evident that:
- Medical and other assistive technologies aren't optional
- It is becoming increasingly expensive to avoid connectivity
- The most vulnerable are the most exploited by tech with terrible privacy and no control
- Current policy does not ensure the existence of any user-respecting alternatives
While many are finally starting to wake up to the problematic state of our technology, the focus has been on merely protecting private information, not appreciable control over our digital destinies. We know that all of the technology we rely on is likely vulnerable, so let's make sure we'll be able to fix problems when they arise. Let's treat users of technology as partners rather than just consumers. This talk will explore the current state of personal technology and the overlapping but separate issues that need to fall into place to assure we have digital autonomy when we need it most.