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Radio Berkman 218: The Threats and Tradeoffs of Big Data

A lot of personal information about you is completely invisible, intangible, and racing around cyberspace on a mission to pay your bills and geolocate your Facebook status. And, of course, this is useful and in a lot of ways really cool.

But today on Radio Berkman we’re going to talk about the obstacles presented by a data-driven society. How can we keep mountains of information out of the wrong hands without compromising all the great benefits we get everyday?

First, we talk to Bruce Schneier, a fellow at the Berkman Center and the author of Data and Goliath, The Hidden Battles to Capture Your Data and Control Your World. In this book, Schneier notes that the bulk collection of data isn’t going away, but changes in policy and public perception could allow citizens to have more control over how this information gets used.

And in the second half of the show we talk to Josephine Wolff, who is also a Berkman Fellow and PhD candidate in the Engineering Systems Division at MIT studying cybersecurity and Internet policy. If you were concerned by the major credit card or email breaches of the last few years, you’ll want to hear this.

Check out all of our Radio Berkman episodes on our Soundcloud.