Innovation and the Value of Privacy

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Online registration for this event is now closed. Walk-in registration will be available on site beginning at 8:30 a.m.


Hosted by the Data Sciences Institute and the Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Center for Leadership and Ethics at Columbia University


In 1999, Scott McNealy, then CEO of Sun Microsystems, reportedly said about the new age of internet connectivity: “You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it.”  However many fear that individuals have largely lost the option of anonymity. While customers value their privacy, they give it away or trade it at low value in practice. Companies are able to monetize the value of this private information because they can aggregate, analyze this information for their use and sell and trade it to third parties. Meanwhile, customers routinely fail to understand the confusing privacy clauses in online licenses and have difficulty in knowing if the big data predictions about them are biased, accurate, or fair.


On February 5th, 2016, the Data Science Institute and the Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Center for Leadership and Ethics at Columbia University are hosting a research-inspired conference to answer a few fundamental questions about privacy, big data, and predictive modeling to turn this situation around.  How can we use data to improve privacy for individuals? Can we tell how companies are using our data and which ones are offering better protection? Do government agencies, such as the FTC or the Bureau of Financial Protection, have any impact on improving individual privacy?  Have researchers or entrepreneurs proposed solutions to improving data protection for customers?

In summary, is there evidence that indicates that Scott McNealy may be wrong?


Confirmed Speakers Include:

Faculty, please contact to register.

February 5th, 2016 9:00 AM through 12:30 PM
Davis Auditorium
Schapiro Center for Engineering and Physical Science Research (Schapiro CEPSR)
530 West 120th Street (btw Broadway and Amsterdam)
New York, NY 10027
United States
Phone: 212-854-1060
Event Fee(s)
Professionals 150.000000000
Non-Columbia Students/Researchers (ID required at checkin) 40.000000000
Columbia Students/Researchers (ID required at checkin) 20.000000000
Bernstein staff 0.500000000
Columbia University Alumni 20.000000000