Privacy goes public
A panel discussion on the subject of the UK’s privacy laws and how proposed changes to these regulations could affect democratic rights was the culmination of a recent two-day conference on the Ethics of Privacy and Confidentiality held at the University.
Amongst the experts taking part were the Guardian’s David Leigh, Matthew Taylor head of the 10 Downing Street Policy Unit and Chief Executive of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce and Onora O’Neill, Professor of Philosophy at Cambridge. The discussion, which attracted a large audience, was chaired by Professor Andrew Thompson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research.
Dr Jamie Dow from IDEA CETL (Inter-Disciplinary Ethics Applied: a Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning), who helped organise the conference together with colleagues Gerald Lang, Rob Lawlor and Georgia Testa, said: “We were very pleased at the engagement of such high-profile figures with our research, and at the level of public interest. Speakers probed tensions between protecting privacy and the importance of a free press, between collecting data and the drive for effectiveness in public services. Privacy and data protection legislation can impede research but still be easily evaded or exploited by the powerful. Judging the importance of privacy in the face of these competing considerations requires careful ethical thinking: this underscores the importance of research in this area.”
There are plans to publish a volume on privacy and confidentiality from the contributions to the conference. For further information visit www.idea.leeds.ac.uk or contact Jamie Dow at email@example.com