As part of the Cybersecurity and International Affairs Workshops by the Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute and the Balsillie School of International Affairs
Akbar Shahid Ahmed, Reporter, The Huffington Post
Massive volumes of data serve as the constraining input in the development of many novel technologies, such as artificial intelligence. Nations with large populations, along with the infrastructure for ubiquitous observation, will naturally have certain advantages in the collection of the relevant data, and therefore the development of these technologies. Will this be enough to propel the likes of China to the forefront of data-driven technology development? Beijing has already enacted policies intended to guard this advantage in the data-driven economy, forbidding foreign companies which collect data on Chinese customers from storing the data outside of China. This session will discuss whether we should expect data protectionism to emerge as a dominant strategy for countries such as China, what specific policies might be enacted to achieve this, and the likely consequences for technological development. The session will also explore the potential tradeoff between the desire to invigorate technological development through data liberalization, and the need for regulation which protects personal privacy. Finally this session will delve into the issue of whether data collected by private companies in the public space should be retained as their proprietary information, or whether “data nationalization” would be preferable.
Akbar Shahid Ahmed is a foreign affairs reporter based in the D.C. bureau of HuffPost. A native Pakistani, Akbar has reported from across the Muslim-majority world. He's also written for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Generation Progress, the Yale Daily News and, in Pakistan, Newsline magazine and DAWN.
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