Session Title

It's Not Paranoia if Your Tech Really Is Out To Get You: Critical thinking about new technologies

Description

New and emerging technologies are exciting, and can make serious positive changes in our lives - but many new technologies also come with an array of downsides and less-awesome requirements. There are technical tradeoffs: convenient streaming services like Netflix represent a decrease in quality from DVDs, present accessibility problems for users with disabilities, and provide no access to previously-purchased content if you find yourself unable to pay for your subscription. Similarly, convenient cloud-based apps require network connectivity to function, and since the software is hosted elsewhere, the terms of service - and the software functionality itself - may change at any time. In addition to technical tradeoffs, both constitutional and practical privacy protections face increasing technological erosion: GPS units are invaluable assistance in navigation, but their data is frequently shared with law enforcement - and sold to auto insurance companies. Most mobile device apps can access information about the device on which they're running, including records of phone calls, GPS location, and network access - Android users, are you aware what information you're sharing, and with whom? (Note: if you're using an Apple mobile device, you have no way of knowing this - the app requirements are not shared with you.) The choices we make when adopting new technologies can have profound impacts on our own lives and those of our patrons in arenas as wide ranging as simple usability and access to constitutional rights such as privacy and freedom expression. Let's think critically about some of these issues.

Start Date

15-3-2012 3:15 PM

End Date

15-3-2012 4:15 PM

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Mar 15th, 3:15 PM Mar 15th, 4:15 PM

It's Not Paranoia if Your Tech Really Is Out To Get You: Critical thinking about new technologies

New and emerging technologies are exciting, and can make serious positive changes in our lives - but many new technologies also come with an array of downsides and less-awesome requirements. There are technical tradeoffs: convenient streaming services like Netflix represent a decrease in quality from DVDs, present accessibility problems for users with disabilities, and provide no access to previously-purchased content if you find yourself unable to pay for your subscription. Similarly, convenient cloud-based apps require network connectivity to function, and since the software is hosted elsewhere, the terms of service - and the software functionality itself - may change at any time. In addition to technical tradeoffs, both constitutional and practical privacy protections face increasing technological erosion: GPS units are invaluable assistance in navigation, but their data is frequently shared with law enforcement - and sold to auto insurance companies. Most mobile device apps can access information about the device on which they're running, including records of phone calls, GPS location, and network access - Android users, are you aware what information you're sharing, and with whom? (Note: if you're using an Apple mobile device, you have no way of knowing this - the app requirements are not shared with you.) The choices we make when adopting new technologies can have profound impacts on our own lives and those of our patrons in arenas as wide ranging as simple usability and access to constitutional rights such as privacy and freedom expression. Let's think critically about some of these issues.