Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2011 about Privacy

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Friday 11th March 2011

  • Big Brother on a Big Screen

    by Chris Conley, Cindy Cohn and Tim Edgar

    Can the NSA really do that? Um, yes. Join ACLU and EFF at the movies to take a close look at how government surveillance has caught up with the fables dreamed up for Hollywood flicks. From location tracking to sensor networks, we'll discuss what’s technologically possible, what’s legal, and the impact on business and society. Jaunty tin foil hats and popcorn will be provided!

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 2:00pm to 3:00pm, Friday 11th March

    In Salon F/G, Hilton Austin Downtown

  • Cops 3.0: The Future of Policing and the Internet

    by Kirby Plessas

    The internet has become a critical tool for law enforcement. This presentation will explore ways that it is being used for investigations and community outreach and will discuss privacy issues and controversies as well as the reach and limits of the law when police go online.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Friday 11th March

    In Room 9ABC, Austin Convention Center

  • Promiscuity or Private Groups: Mobile Photo Sharing

    by Mayank Mehta and Louis Gray

    We all know photo sharing is nothing new - it's been around as long as photos have been around and that's a long long time! So what's all the buzz around mobile photo sharing now? Are people all jumping on the bandwagon to share their mobile photos? Instagram just passed 1M users within 3 months of their launch. Path introduced somewhat controversial private group sharing with 50 friends limit. And LiveShare by Cooliris just launched the first flexible private group sharing service for photos. Which brings us to question, are users more likely to resort to private streams? Is that where we are headed - small, intimate groups? What does it mean for the overall social graph(s) we have been building for the past years?

    Come and join in on the discussion around mobile photo sharing, the hottest topic in Silicon Valley.

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Friday 11th March

    In Salon K, Hilton Austin Downtown

Saturday 12th March 2011

  • Demystifying Online Privacy and Empowering the Digital Self

    by Nick Goggans, Marc Davis and Paul Krasinski

    You are being watched, tracked, and analyzed right now. But what are they collecting and analyzing? Who’s selling it, who's buying it, and why? And who are “they” anyway?

    The subject of personal data collection, analysis, and control has become increasingly covered in various media channels recently such as the Wall Street Journal series, “What They Know”, reporting that a new industry of tracking has arisen, and you better watch out.

    Is this buzz fear mongering, or is it true that there’s a dark underbelly of the Internet where your information is traded by big corporations every day to the detriment of web citizens? Or, on the other hand, is there a benefit for keeping this information open?

    This data is often used to improve user experiences, web sites, programs, etc. that some of us wouldn’t want to live without. As cloud technologies and database processing improve the ability to mine user data, analyzing and valuing that data will become an even more critical part of the Internet ecosystem.

    But where do web citizens fit in this world? Shouldn’t they be free to own and control their data? If so, how can they derive value, and in that process of creating value can they also improve the data?

    Can we achieve an information system beneficial to all participants? We will address these questions from two perspectives: individual and industry.

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Saturday 12th March

    In Town Lake Ballroom, Radisson Hotel & Suites Austin-Town Lake

  • Coming of Age Social: Opportunity of Teens Online

    by Nina Khosla, Anne Collier, Sarahjane Sacchetti, Jason Rzepka and Matt Britton

    While controversy surrounds teenage behavior online, the fact is today's 13-17 year old audience has grown up in the midst of the social media evolution and represents the next big opportunity on the social web. Understanding the impact of the Web on their worldview, communication style and relationship expectations is to be determined, but the opportunities for social media innovators to identify ways to engage and monetize their unique behavior are countless. What's interesting is considering the use of many social media platforms by an audience largely not considered in their development. This panel will bring together a varied group of experts on social media, teenage culture, privacy and safety, entertainment and psychology to discuss the fascinating ways this generation is being shaped by the social web. The panel will discuss best practices at managing the audience as well as what's next with the industry's ability to not only appropriately engage and educate, but innovate for this audience's unique demands.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Hill Country AB, Hyatt Regency Austin

  • How Not to Get Pwned on Facebook

    by David Endler

    Social networks are a hacker's paradise. Today more so than ever, it's easy for bad guys(tm) to infect millions of people on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networks with little or no effort. Corporate espionage, bank account stealing worms and viruses, frustratingly hard to remove spyware - you name it, social networking makes it that much easier for these things to spread.

    This session will cover some of most effective and amusing techniques that hackers are using today to infect the masses. Focusing on a couple of the more popular social networks, we'll also walk through basic privacy and security checklists that everyone should use to fortify their accounts. Finally, if you suspect your computer is infected as the result of opening a file or visiting a strange link sent from your grandmother on Myspace, etc., this session will demonstrate how to most effectively scan and cleanse your system using free tools.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Big Bend, Hyatt Regency Austin

Sunday 13th March 2011

  • Patients/Caregivers on Facebook: Establishing Boundaries Without Barriers

    by Ed Bennett, Daniel Goldman, Keely Kolmes, Jennifer Shine Dyer and Dana Lewis

    Social media platforms create new challenges for healthcare practitioners and other professionals who actively participate in online communities that have emerged on Facebook, Twitter and similar applications. While it's not unusual for those with chronic health issues and long term medical problems to build close relationships with care providers "in real life" - legal, ethical and practical issues emerge when patients/clients seek to add care providers to online networks.

    How, for example, should a pediatric nurse respond when a cancer patient's mom wants to become a Facebook "friend"? What parameters must be established now that these public conversations could become of an official medical record? What else is preventing medical staff and healthcare organizations from adopting social media?

    Engage with panelists - patients and healthcare workers - who actively use social media and are articulate advocates for its benefits in the complex world of healthcare delivery. Panelists for this session have developed ways to establish appropriate boundaries without creating barriers to health education and empowerment.

    Attendees will develop a more sophisticated awareness of privacy and engagement within online communities. They'll learn how those in the healthcare community have dealt with significant concerns and developed effective ways to resolve ethical conflicts, and will leave the session with a framework for addressing similar concerns within their own networks.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Sunday 13th March

    In Sabine, Hilton Garden Inn Austin Downtown

  • Building Fences in the Sky: Geo-Fencing Has Arrived

    by Alistair Goodman

    Imagine walking past your favorite restaurant, and receiving a coupon for a free dessert. Imagine jogging through Central Park, taking a break, and receiving a text from The North Face about a trail nearby that you’ve never taken but sounds great. These scenarios aren’t set in the future, but happening today, and are made possible through geo-fencing, the location-based technology pioneered by Placecast. Through geo-fencing, Placecast creates virtual fences around physical locations – stores, entertainment venues, parks, apartment buildings – literally anywhere on Earth.

    The technology is described here by the NYTimes http://www.vscconsulting.com/pla... and here in the WSJ: http://www.vscconsulting.com/pla...

    This session will provide data-backed information and dispel myths around location-based services (LBS). The audience will learn:

    1) How to go about starting a location-based program utilizing geo-fence technology
    2) Challenges and best practices in LBS
    3) How geo-fences are being used today, including case studies from major brands such as The North Face, American Eagle Outfitters, SONIC
    4) How privacy/security issues are handled

    Location-based services can offer information, discounts, alerts, and more – all making our lives easier, and bringing the messages we want directly to mobile phones via SMS. The possibilities for geo-fencing are immense, and we’ve only begun to tap into them.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Sunday 13th March

    In Salon F/G, Hilton Austin Downtown

  • E-Race: Avatars, Anonymity And The Virtualization Of Identity

    by Wagner James Au, Lisa Nakamura and Jeff Yang

    Back in 2003, photographer Robbie Cooper photographed dozens of portraits of online gameplayers alongside their avatars for a book called ALTER EGO. The book is an incredible illustration of the ways that digital platforms have transformed fixed physical characteristics into a virtual wardrobe that can be donned or dismissed with a few clicks of a button.

    This phenomenon might be trivial if online identity were all "just a game"—but the truth is, the line between online and offline identity has increasingly blurred. Writing about a study he conducted exploring gender identity among MMO participants, researcher Lukas Blinka wrote in the journal Cyberpsychology in 2008 that “the data...shows that younger players tend to identify with — i.e. not to distinguish from — their avatars, and the younger the respondents were, the stronger the phenomenon."

    What are the implications for traditional aspects of identity in a context where they can be so freely and fluidly altered? What does the ability to hide or disguise identity mean in particular for the experience of race — and racism — online? This panel will debate whether digital platforms can enhance racial engagement and understanding, or simply encourage conscienceless and consequence-free acts of hatred and abuse — and explore how online identity is forcing us to confront new ways of thinking about race, ethnicity and gender.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Sunday 13th March

    In Hill Country AB, Hyatt Regency Austin

    Coverage sketch note

  • Lawful Intercept: I Saw What You Did

    by Jay Cuthrell

    Social network privacy concerns? Step back and consider this: Lawful Intercept (LI) is how all network users are able to be monitored and analyzed in real-time. While many are concerned with privacy on a popular website, LI empowers an elected or appointed authority to know our digital comings and goings around the clock. This presentation will highlight the latest in LI technology, LI challenges , and how each of us can shape future of how LI is perceived and used.

    LEVEL: Advanced

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Sunday 13th March

    In Room 10AB, Austin Convention Center

  • Paying with Data: How Free Services Aren't Free

    by Julia Angwin, Arvind Narayanan, Sara Marie Watson and Sam Yagan

    Until privacy advocates start freaking out about Facebook privacy settings or default broadcast settings on Google Buzz, the general population doesn't quite understand just how much data they are offering up in exchange for use of free services on the internet. Just think: Facebook has your birthday, maiden name, maybe even pets' name; Google Voice has your cell number, your complete email history, your credit card, your browsing history, and in aggregate these individual data points add up to your online identity. Each field filled out, each click gets translated into data-driven product improvements or are used to serve up increasingly targeted advertisements.

    Chris Anderson has explored the paradigm of "free" economics, but the concept hasn't been taken far enough to perhaps suggest that we think of each data point as an economic transaction occurring between the user and the service provider, even in these "free" services. This panel will explore the idea that perhaps all user inputs should be thought of as micro-transactions of data in order to better understand the burden of the data exposure implicit in those exchanges.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Sunday 13th March

    In Room 9ABC, Austin Convention Center

  • Privacy vs. Relevance: Who Smells the Tension?

    by Jason Carmel

    Generic, digital experiences suck for both users and businesses alike. People expect to be treated as individuals with unique perspectives and needs. When executed appropriately, everyone benefits from more targeted content. But when does personalization go too far? With digital technology collecting data at an unparalleled rate, there is a risk of this information being breached, mishandled or assumed incorrectly. This session delves into the cost and benefits of using digital and offline data to create a more personalized experience, and investigates the best ways to build these data-driven experiences without trampling over the privacy rights of the public.

    LEVEL: Advanced

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Sunday 13th March

    In Big Bend, Hyatt Regency Austin

  • The End of Shame: or, Getting Over Oversharing

    by Melissa Gira Grant and Cindy Gallop

    Oversharing is over. Now we're told opening up online is the most valuable currency there is. What's the real value in relating the most painful, awkward, potentially humiliating parts of our lives on the internet? Is there a line anymore between authentic self-expression and savvy marketing? If The New Transparency is really what we're being sold, how transparent are we ready to be?

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Sunday 13th March

    In Hill Country CD, Hyatt Regency Austin

  • Has Facebook Jumped the Shark: Sink or Swim?

    by Judy Shapiro, Mark Rosner, Mark Sherwood, Hank Wasiak and Kunur Patel

    In just under 18 months Facebook has gone from being one of an emerging group of social networks to becoming the undisputed engine of the social networking phenomenon.

    Facebook is now the big shark in the tank because it is the main way for consumers to connect, engage, have fun and entertain themselves within a relatively easy to use platform. No wonder then that Facebook has taken the lead in dominating the emerging business of social graphs where precious consumer information lies waiting to be tapped.

    But the fact that these rich data stores are being built up within one company leads to some potentially troubling consequences. Thoughtful marketers are realizing that as Facebook pushes toward data dominance to make its platform worth $50bn, it almost has no choice but to jump the shark and hope that it can start a new, profitable revenue model.

    In doing so, does Facebook run the risk of colliding with thetruth, transparency and trust ethos of the social web? Will Facebook’s equity as a valued social network erode into an untrusted marketing platform of ads and spammers?

    Marketers and “Judy Consumer” have a lot at stake by having so much information in the hands of so young a company. Come join this discussion as we open the pandora’s box of privacy, access and creating real consumer value. Share your thoughts about Facebook's evolving interactions with consumers and business. Just for fun – we’ll bring out the shark in all of you. Sshh – it’s a SURPRISE!

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Sunday 13th March

    In TX Ballroom 2-4, Hyatt Regency Austin

    Coverage sketch note

  • Radically Onymous: How Ending Privacy is Awesome!

    by Myles Grant

    Radically Onymous is, in part, a pushback against the criticism Facebook and other sites get on a regular basis for not having tight enough privacy controls or revealing too much private information. It argues that we would all benefit by having our classically private information public, to an extreme degree. We would instantly know who everyone we meet is, along with access to a full history of their actions, even before we actually "meet". Everyone would know where everyone is at any given moment. This extreme transparency would lead to the replacement of our monetary economy with a reputation economy, like Cory Doctorow's Whuffie in his novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. It would make us safer and, perhaps paradoxically, freer.

    Many of this is possible to build now, by leveraging existing social networks, mobile platforms like the iPhone and Android, and public key cryptography. I'll show examples of what could be built today, and how that would be useful even without a critical mass of radically onymous folk.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Sunday 13th March

    In Room 5ABC, Austin Convention Center

Monday 14th March 2011

  • How to Personalize Without Being Creepy

    by Jennifer King, Noah Weiss, Mat Harris, Vijay Ravindran and Hugo Liu

    After seeing the backlash over Instant Personalization from Facebook, many people have been nervous to approach the subject. But invariably, as we move forward into an increasingly data-driven society, personalization will need to become a larger and larger part of how we communicate with customers, site visitors, and consumers of online content. So the question is, how do you personalize content without making people feel violated and uncomfortable? Is it just a question of people’s preferences changing over time as they "come around" to the idea of personalization, or is it an implementation question? What's the degree of personalization that is acceptable to most consumers? This panel will look at how to preserve users’ trust while personalizing content to them. It will also discuss some acceptable practices for personalizing content to individual users' data, and shifts in the societal acceptability of content personalization over time & by demographic.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Monday 14th March

    In Ballroom B, Austin Convention Center

  • Cryptography, Technology, Privacy: Philip Zimmermann, Inventor of PGP

    by Phil Zimmermann

    Philip R. Zimmermann, technology visionary and internet folk hero, says “it is sometimes better to take direct action to change unjust laws”. He is an encryption guru and privacy innovator who has made huge personal sacrifices to create technology that protects people around the world. Phil is the creator of Pretty Good Privacy, an email encryption software package. Originally designed as a human rights tool, PGP was published for free on the Internet in 1991. This made Zimmermann the target of a three-year criminal investigation because the government held that US export restrictions for cryptographic software were violated when PGP spread worldwide. Despite the lack of funding, the lack of any paid staff, the lack of a company to stand behind it, and despite government persecution, PGP nonetheless became the most widely used email encryption software in the world.
    Phil has recently focused on launching a secure VoIP protocol that allows people to make encrypted phone calls over the internet. He will discuss why encrypted phone calls are the next evolution in privacy, why easily wiretapped, unsecure VoIP is bad for society and good for organized crime, and how a secure VoIP protocol will protect the criminal justice system. Other topics include the effects of pervasive surveillance technology on democratic institutions and the future of consumer authentication.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Monday 14th March

    In Salon J, Hilton Austin Downtown

  • Your Data in the Cloud: Privacy, Ownership, Convenience

    by Daniel Putterman

    There’s no topic with more buzz around it than the “cloud.” However, for all the aspects of our social and commercial lives we entrust to the cloud, at the same time we surrender our data, and increasingly our memories and finances, to others. Who controls that data, who protects it and who ensures our privacy? There are however possibilities for creating one’s own cloud, and retaining a measure control over off-site data and services, both software and hardware based. We’ll explore a number of solutions to the notion of a personal cloud, and the trade-offs inherent in that choice.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Monday 14th March

    In Ballroom B, Austin Convention Center

  • Building Human Rights Into Your Social Site

    by Danny O’Brien, Ebele Okobi-Harris, Jillian York and Rebecca Mackinnon

    No matter how narrow you think the use of your website or service will be, if it's successful, it'll be used in ways you'll never expect - including life or death fights over human rights in foreign countries. The design of your sketchy PHP code might make the difference between a free press or a government clampdown, tortured dissidents or a bloodless coup. Twitter aids activists in Iran; Facebook helps the independent press in Ethiopia; World of Warcraft is policed for sedition in China. What is happening on your site that you don't know about? And how can you design it so you help the good guys?

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Monday 14th March

    In Room 10AB, Austin Convention Center

    Coverage audio clip

  • Let's Get Naked: Benefits of Publicness v. Privacy

    by Jeff Jarvis

    In our current cultural obsession with privacy, we risk losing the benefits of publicness - of the connections the internet enables. So, in a discussion, we will consider the value of publicness in our lives and communities, in transparent government, and in truly public companies.

    We will ask what privacy really means and examine its brief history (it was born out of fear of new technologies, especially the dastardly Kodak camera). We will discuss the ethics of privacy and publicness that should inform our decisions in social and business interactions: what we reveal, what we keep private, and why. We will look at different cultures' views of privacy (how the Germans, who get naked in saunas and public parks, care deeply about the privacy of everything ... except their private parts). We will ask what Facebook, Foursquare, Google, Twitter, government, and companies should do about privacy. We will claim ownership of the public sphere--what's public is owned by us, the public. And we will forge a bill of rights in cyberspace to protect the openness of the internet that is our tool of making publics.

    Jeff Jarvis, author of What Would Google Do? and the upcoming Public Parts, will present his findings and views about publicness - and his own experience revealing his prostate cancer--and then lead a discussion with the entire room - Oprah-like - about the nature of privacy and why it worries us.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Monday 14th March

    In TX Ballroom 5-7, Hyatt Regency Austin

Tuesday 15th March 2011

  • Data Customization and Privacy – Can They Coexist?

    by Gerard M Stegmaier, Howard Hogan and David Ring

    The use of services on devices connected to the internet makes much personal information about viewers and listeners available which is the basis for the creation of custom data that can be used to market to customers. Regulators and privacy advocates are pushing back that the practice is too intrusive. The debate continues with the panel addressing all sides of the issue.

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Tuesday 15th March

    In Room 13AB, Austin Convention Center

  • Legal Bootcamp: Electronic Privacy Law for Internet Startups

    by Elizabeth Banker, Kevin Bankston, Nicole Ozer and Joe Sullivan

    In 1986 the Bangles were all the rage, Donkey Kong was a hot video game, mobile phones were bigger than your head, and the World Wide Web didn't even exist. A lot has changed since then - but electronic privacy law has not. Many Web 2.0 startups don’t realize it but there is a 1986 federal privacy law that applies directly to them and could lead to lawsuits or even criminal liability if users’ data is improperly monitored or disclosed. Does your company comply with the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (“ECPA”) of 1986, or even know that it exists? Do you know what to do when the government or anyone else asks for—or demands—records about your users? Join our panel of veteran Internet lawyers from privacy orgs like ACLU and EFF and companies like Google and Facebook, who will give you a basic understanding of how ECPA affects your business and provide an update on the coalition effort in Washington, D.C. to update this antiquated law to better protect privacy and innovation in the 21st century.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Tuesday 15th March

    In Room 9ABC, Austin Convention Center

Unscheduled