“Privacy is one of the central issues of importance of our time,” wrote the organizers of this Matrix Prospecting Team in their successful proposal. “Despite our appreciation of privacy, police officers wear body cameras, customer loyalty programs track purchases and the Transportation Safety Administration performs full body scans. This paradox illuminates the deep ambivalence in modern American society about privacy, and a largely untapped area of research in the social sciences. This [project] seeks to ground the continued creation of a privacy focused social science oriented community at Berkeley at an institution where it might seed and grow. "There are many of us working on these topics alone or together by happenstance; it is time we formed a more permanent community and worked together…. Matrix can be a catalyst for that happening."
This project will further the efforts of a “lab” group led by Naniette Coleman, a PhD student, that over the past year has created annotated bibliographies on privacy topics, updated Wikipedia pages on privacy topics in partnership with the Wikipedia Education Foundation, and planned an event entitled “Under the Radar: Research and Technology in an Age of Surveillance”. They hope to further develop the “Privacy and the Social Sciences” community at Berkeley and organize a monthly speaker series.
Image Credit: g4ll4is, "Privacy" – Creative Commons, via Flickr