Wednesday, August 21
9:00 am - 9:45 am
Keynote: Finding Our Path To Digital Autonomy: Exploring the Relationship Between Tech Ethics, Privacy and Software Freedom
Abstractions Main Stage
About the event
We increasingly live in a world where technology is embedded in every aspect of our lives. From medical devices to in-home security systems, to oral medication with sensors embedded, much of our personal
information is broadcast out of our control with minimal real security on the devices we use. There's often no option to even switch off connectivity of our devices and have them remain functional. We are regularly asked to accept terms of service that no reasonable person could read and understand. It's becoming evident that:
* Medical and other assistive technologies aren't optional
* It is becoming increasingly expensive to avoid connectivity
* The most vulnerable are the most exploited by tech with terrible privacy and no control
* Current policy does not ensure the existence of any user-respecting alternatives
While many are finally starting to wake up to the problematic state of our technology, the focus has been on merely protecting private information, not appreciable control over our digital destinies. We know
that all of the technology we rely on is likely vulnerable, so let's make sure we'll be able to fix problems when they arise. Let's treat users of technology as partners rather than just consumers. This talk
will explore the current state of personal technology and the overlapping but separate issues that need to fall into place to assure we have digital autonomy when we need it most.
Karen M. Sandler is the executive director of the Software Freedom Conservancy, which is the nonprofit home of many free software projects, including Git, Samba, QEMU, Selenium and Inkscape (to name a few). She is known as a cyborg lawyer for her advocacy for free software as a life-or-death issue, particularly in relation to the software on medical devices. Prior to joining Conservancy, she was the executive director of the GNOME Foundation. Before that, she was the general counsel of the Software Freedom Law Center. Karen co-organizes Outreachy, the award-winning outreach program for people who face under-representation, systemic bias, or discrimination in tech . Karen is an adjunct Lecturer-In-Law at Columbia Law School and a Visiting Scholar at UC Santa Cruz. She is the recipient of the Free Software Foundation's 2017 Award for the Advancement of Free Software as well as an O'Reilly Open Source Award.