As life increasingly migrates on-line, individuals leave digital trails that reveal the most intimate aspects of their lives. The risk to privacy increases dramatically as data from many people is amassed into huge datasets that can be data mined to reveal unsuspected connections between different people and different aspects of individuals’ lives.
The Center’s Director, Professor Douglas Salane, and its Assistant Director, Professor Adina Schwartz, were among the co-PI’s on a NSF-sponsored project, “Security and Privacy: Global Standards for Ethical Identity Management in Contemporary Liberal Democratic Societies,” that employed an interdisciplinary approach to explore the ethical, legal and policy issues raised by government and corporate uses of “big data.” The project resulted in the book, Security and Privacy: Global Standards for Ethical Identity Management in Contemporary Liberal Democratic States (ANU (Australian National University) E Press 2011).
In her contribution to the book, Professor Schwartz explored the differences between EU and United States law on digital privacy. Currently, she is updating her work to take account of recent developments in this rapidly changing area of law and technology. As part of this, Professor Schwartz and Center Research Assistant Aidan Booth are involved in a Center project exploring the legal and policy issues raised by Edward J. Snowden’s recent revelations about surveillance by the National Security Agency (“NSA”) and its UK counterpart, the Government Communications Headquarters (“GCHQ”).
Further research, building on Prof. Schwartz’s longstanding interests in Fourth Amendment law Link 1, Link 2, and science and the law Link 1, Link 2, will analyze the philosophical and historical roots of the differences between EU and US protections of digital privacy, and will also explore the dynamic through which developments in EU and US law affect and are affected by economic and political relationships.