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Data privacy and online reputation to headline lecture series

A series of lectures this month of June will address questions on ensuring data privacy protection of the digital selves; and striking a balance between reputation and freedom of expression.

According to a recent press release, Professor Anne S.Y. Cheung will be presenting two lectures in New Zealand: Data Privacy in the Big Data Era; and Rating Reputation: Online Defamation.

The Professor is visiting New Zealand as the 2019 Legal Research Foundation Visiting Scholar and is sponsored by a foundation’s Information Law and Policy Project.

Data Privacy in the Big Data Era

The University of Auckland will be hosting the first lecture, which explores data privacy protection for the digitised persona. It will focus on the challenges brought about by profiling.

Technology, big data, algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) have revolutionised the society.

They may have brought new opportunities but they also bring risks to the way people live, work, and make decisions.

These evolving technologies have been used in different purposes for both private businesses and the public sector.

These purposes include profiling, monitoring, predictive analysis and risk calculation.

Additionally, individuals have become digitised data selves. What’s more disturbing is that the proxy data self can dictate the life of the corporeal self.

This is seen in the practice of financial credit scoring or social credit scoring.

The Professor will argue that people should move from a pure opt-in consent regime to an accountability model for big data analytics.

This public lecture will be repeated in Wellington and will be hosted by the Victoria University of Wellington.

Rating Reputation: Online Defamation

The second lecture draws on jurisprudence to examine how different jurisdictions have endeavoured to strike a balance between reputation and freedom of expression.

A blossoming of rating, evaluation or even blacklisting sites has been rampant in the 21st century.

People are living in a “reputation nation”, wherein anonymous individuals often evaluate people’s conduct in different aspects, entailing the dangers of shame sanctions.

This reputation rating system is far from being a system of formal adjudication. It may carry false or incorrect information, and may not allow an individual to correct such information.

The Professor will question how a new model that has an appropriate procedural layout can be developed.

This layout should be able to accommodate social norms, technological advancement and the legal right to protect reputation on online platforms.

She advocates for a new regime that requires online rating sites to have netiquette and information policy, including the right to reply amongst other requirements.

The Professor works at the Department of Law at the University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include freedom of expression and privacy, focusing on the challenges brought by the internet and technology.

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