Digital Trust and Security Seminar Series: Kieron O'Hara A digital futures event - 20th March 2024

On the 20th March 2024, in this edition of the Digital Trust and Security Seminar Series, Digital Futures welcomed Kieron O'Hara, Emeritus Fellow in Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton, to give a talk on his ground-breaking book, "The Seven Veils of Privacy".

The event invited attendees internal and external to The University of Manchester, with interdisciplinary participants coming from SMEs, public sector, and universities across the North of England.

Professor Mark Elliot, Professor of Data Science at the Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research, kicked off proceedings with a short welcome and introduction to all attendees. Following this, Kieron commenced his talk.

Professor Mark Elliot welcoming all attendees.

Stemming from his interdisciplinary career as a Computer Scientist and a Philosopher, Kieron outlined a rigorous and comprehensive framework for understanding debates about privacy and our rights to it from his book, "The Seven Veils of Privacy". Unpacking the contested concept of privacy, Kieron explained that much of the conflict around this topic comes from a failure to recognise divergent perspectives. Consequently, privacy has become the focus of competing definitions, leading some to denounce the 'disarray' in the field.

Kieron unpacking the contested concept of privacy in his talk.

Showcasing how disagreements about the role and value of privacy obscure a large amount of agreement on the topic, Kieron argued that privacy is a word in common use that adequately expresses a few simple and related ideas. Dispelling ideas that privacy is a technical term of law, cybersecurity, or sociology, Kieron discussed how distinguishing different discourses involving the term dissolves the apparent disarray, and reveals the parochial nature of our disagreements.

Attendees networking and discussing ideas with Kieron.

A Q&A session followed, wherein attendees discussed ideas and asked questions about Kieron's research expertise in trust, privacy, and open data. Soon after, Professor Mark Elliot brought things to a close which was followed by a networking session.

If you missed the event, you can watch it back here:

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