Wednesday, March 6, 5:30pm ET
Austin East Classroom, Austin Hall, Harvard Law School (map)
The power of big data -- analyzing huge swaths of information to uncover insights and make predictions that were largely impossible in the past -- is poised to transform business and society. Fueling it is the realization that data has a value beyond the primary purpose for which it was collected. Yet there is a dark side. Privacy is eroded like never before. And a new harm emerges: predictions about human behavior that may result in penalties prior to actual the infraction being committed. In this talk Mayer-Schönberger and Cukier take a look at big data's power, the dangers it poses and how to address them.
Viktor Mayer-Schönberger is the Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation at Oxford. His research focuses on the role of information in a networked economy. Earlier he spent ten years on the faculty of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
Professor Mayer-Schönberger has published seven books, as well as over a hundred articles (including in Science) and book chapters. His most recent book, the awards-winning 'Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age' (Princeton University Press 2009) has received favorable reviews by academic (Nature, Science, New Scientist) and mainstream media (New York Times, Guardian, Le Monde, NPR, BBC, Wired) and has been published in four languages. Ideas proposed in the book have now become official policy, e.g. of the European Union.
A native Austrian, Professor Mayer-Schönberger founded Ikarus Software in 1986, a company focusing on data security, and developed Virus Utilities, which became the best-selling Austrian software product. He was voted Top-5 Software Entrepreneur in Austria in 1991 and Person-of-the-Year for the State of Salzburg in 2000.
He chaired the Rueschlikon Conference on Information Policy, is the cofounder of the SubTech conference series, and served on the ABA/AAAS National Conference of Lawyers and Scientists. He is on the advisory boards of corporations and organizations around the world, including Microsoft and the World Economic Forum. He is a personal adviser to the Austrian Finance Minister on innovation policy.
Kenneth Neil Cukier is the Data Editor of The Economist. From 2007 to 2012 he was the Japan business and finance correspondent, and before that, the paper's global technology correspondent based in London, where his work focused on innovation, intellectual property and Internet governance.
Previously, he was the technology editor of The Asian Wall Street Journal in Hong Kong and a regular commentator on CNBC Asia. Earlier still, he was the European Editor of Red Herring and worked at The International Herald Tribune in Paris. From 2002 to 2004 Mr. Cukier was a research fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, working on the Internet and international relations.
His writings have also appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Prospect, The Financial Times and Foreign Affairs, among others. He has been a frequent commentator on business and technology matters for CBS, CNN, NPR, the BBC and others.
Mr. Cukier serves on the board of directors of International Bridges to Justice, a Geneva-based NGO promoting legal rights in developing countries. Additionally, he serves on the board of advisors to the Daniel Pearl Foundation.