FWD50 2020: Privacy and Data

Published On Oct 22, 2020

FWD50 is a global digital government gathering held annually in Ottawa, Canada. Each year, technologists, executives, and industry come together for a week of content and discussion, focused on steering progress and innovation towards our better selves.

We’re covering a myriad of topics in 2020, and featuring some key speakers for each topic. 

This year, one of our focuses will be around Privacy and Data.

We can’t deliver services if we don’t know who we’re delivering them to. Digital identity is the cornerstone of useful online applications. Similarly, those applications work better the more context they have—a mapping app needs to know where you are, what kinds of food you like, and what your home address is to work conveniently.

But digital privacy, whether keeping our identity secret or safeguarding our identity, is always complicated.


Relevant speakers

Daniel Wu wants to know if the fourth industrial revolution, which promises us smart buildings and self-driving cars, can be trusted. He’s a legal engineer at Immuta, where he works with government and the private sector on ethical data strategy.

Jeff Jonas built the tools that broke up the MIT card-counting ring; modern databases now “read before they write” to see if similar records exist. This process of identifying individual entities in masses of data is called entity resolution, and it’s the core of most data and privacy issues. A former IBM fellow and founder of Senzing, Jeff is also the only American to have successfully completed every Iron Man.

Eric Ward is the Senior Director for Foresight at Policy Horizons. He brings his background in justice, the senate, and the supreme court to bear on issues of privacy and information law—but what he really cares about is how biology and digital technology become intertwined, shaping how we work, live, and even evolve.