Freedom and Ethics in the Era of Big Data

Lecture | October 4 | 12:45-2 p.m. | 170 The Law Building

 Peter Dabrock, Chair, German Ethics Council

 Institute of European Studies, Miller Institute for Global Challenges and the Law, Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity (CLTC), School of Information

In this talk, Peter Dabrock (Chair, German Ethics Council) explores the potential of big data to constrain the real-world exercise of freedom and self-determination in ways that raise the question whether humans can still act and decide freely and responsibly. Dabrock calls for a responsible shaping of the digital transformation based on concerted action which unites all forces of society, individual self-determination as well as the cultivation of the regulative idea of the public sphere. Dabrock's 2017 opinion piece “Big Data and Health” focuses on the right to informational freedom that motivates traditional data protection law, and proposes careful consideration about how to implement it in the age of big data and machine learning. He argues that this can be achieved if we steer away from the traditional input orientation of data security law (consent, data minimization, purpose limitation) and towards a more output-oriented approach on the handling of data.

Presenter Bio:

Prof. Peter Dabrock studied Protestant and Catholic Theology, Philosophy and Social Sciences in Würzburg, Bonn and Bochum. After a vicarship at the Protestant Church in Holzwickede, Germany (1995) and several positions in academia as researcher, Assistant, Associate and Full Professor in Bochum and Marburg (from 1995-2010) he has been Chair of Systematic Theology (Ethics) at the Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nuremberg since October 2010. Beyond serving in many high-level national and international advisory bodies in academia, Church, and Society including the Central Ethics Committee at the German Medical Association (2004-2013), the DFG-Permanent Senate Commission on Animal Protection and Experimentation (since 2011), the European Group on Ethics (2011-2016), he has been an appointed member of the German Ethics Council since 2012 (Vice-Chair from 2012-2016). Since 2016 he has been its elected Chairperson.