Berkman Buzz: May 2, 2014

May 2, 2014

The Berkman Buzz is selected weekly from the posts of Berkman Center people and projects.
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danah boyd reflects on White House big data report


In January, shortly after the President announced his intention to reflect on the role of big data and privacy in society, I received a phone call from Nicole Wong at the Office of Science and Technology Policy, asking if I’d help run one of the three public conferences that the Administration hoped to co-host as part of this review. Although I was about to embark on a book tour, I enthusiastically agreed, both because the goal of the project aligned brilliantly with what I was hoping to achieve with my new Data & Society Research Institute and also because one does not say no when asked to help Nicole (or the President). We hadn’t intended to publicly launch Data & Society until June nor did we have all of the infrastructure necessary to run a large-scale event, but we had passion and gumption so we teamed up with the great folks at New York University’s Information Law Institute (directed by the amazing Helen Nissenbaum) and called on all sorts of friends and collaborators to help us out. It was a bit crazy at times, but we did it.


From danah boyd's blog post, "New White House Report on Big Data"
About danah | @zephoria

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Brain still smiling after #DigitallyConnected this wk @berkmancenter - so many amazing ppl, ideas + stories to inspire future collaboration
Mary Madden (@mary_madden)


Eric Gordon talks to Alison Head about how playable systems can promote civic change


Play opens up a space of possibility that is shockingly absent in "official" civic life. I want to see a reorientation of civic processes where learning, creativity, and discovery are built into systems instead of designed out of them. Schools and libraries should be important nodes in building out playable systems designed for values beyond expediency. My dream research project is focused on understanding the efficacy of playable civic systems on large urban scales, and within different national contexts.


From Alison Head's latest interview for Project Information Literacy, "Eric Gordon: How Games Promote Lifelong Learning and Civic Engagement"
About Eric | @ericbot
About Alison | @alisonjhead
About Project Information Literacy

Cyberlaw Clinic's privacy toolkit in Harvard Law Today

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With the help of the Cyberlaw Clinic, the Consortium of School Networks (“CoSN”) has released the Protecting Privacy in Connected Learning Toolkit. The toolkit, issued in March as part of CoSN’s new Protecting Privacy in Connected Learning initiative, provides an in-depth, step-by-step privacy guide is to help school system leaders navigate complex federal laws and related issues.


From Liza Riggs's post in Harvard Law Today, "School network consortium partners with Cyberlaw Clinic to create privacy toolkit for school systems"
About the Cyberlaw Clinic | @cyberlawclinic

Sara Watson offers advice for companies on data collection and use

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There is so much promise in what data can do, opening up opportunities for optimization and uncovering insights from correlations. There is more data coming from more places everyday, and every sector of the economy is becoming increasingly data-driven. But while data is flowing in novel ways, for most consumers it’s all hidden in a big data black box.

As the public becomes more distrusting of data practices with each Snowden dispatch, how do you take advantage of the opportunities offered by data without alienating consumers? There are two keys for using data to gain a competitive advantage while minimizing the risk of consumer backlash: transparency and dialogue.


From Sara Watson's post for the HBR Blog Network, "If Customers Knew How You Use Their Data, Would They Call It Creepy?"
About Sara | @smwat

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Should the FCC should auction off one of our most valuable national resources: spectrum? RB talks w/@haroldfeld! Berkman (@radioberkman)


#BringBackOurGirls: Nigerians Demand Release of 200 Abducted Girls

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Nigerians marched through the streets on April 30, 2014 demanding accelerated government action in the release of more than 200 girls abducted by jihadist group Boko Haram.

A few weeks ago, armed men abducted the girls, who are between 15 and 18 years old, from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, about 130 kilometres west of Maiduguri in northeast Nigeria. Some have reportedly been forced into marriage with their abductors.

The angst over the horrid abduction and the seeming lack of firm commitment to secure their release has resulted in citizen action. Twitter users are mobilizing and tweeting in support of the protests across the nation, using the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.


From Nwachukwu Egbunike's post for Global Voices, "#BringBackOurGirls: Nigerians Demand Release of 200 Abducted Girls"
About Global Voices Online | @globalvoices

This Buzz was compiled by Rebekah Heacock.

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Last updated

July 22, 2015