International workshop: The Invisible Man in The Digital Age

on the February 2, 2018

February, 2nd from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
The CESICE, the Grenoble Alpes Data Institute, and la Maison Française d'Oxford are pleased to inform you of the holding of a workshop entitled "The invisible Man in the Digital Age: From Anonymity to Invisibilty ? " in Oxford on February 2, 2018
Through the use of magical artifacts: from the Ring of Gyges mentioned by Plato in his Republic to H.G. Wells' Invisible Man; the desire to become invisible has been ever present in the minds of humankind. Whether it is used for good or evil, invisibility remains a myth that fails to pass the reality test. In the digital world, anonymity and real invisibility has had a lot of appeal since the very beginning of the Web 2.0. The development of enabling anonymous communication software (TOR), encryption (GnuPG) and artificial amnesia systems (Tails) partly enabled the dream of invisibility to come true. Yet, even though this new set of technologies is compellingly useful and beneficial for the protection against privacy invasion from States or malevolent private actors, risks of illegal uses of these new technologies may still exist. The Ring of Gyges epitomizes that invisibility can be a weapon whose ethical value is not inherently attached to it but depends on what it is being used for.

Is the move into the Big Data Era urging us to acknowledge a fundamental right to anonymity or invisibility? Contrariwise, are we only called to regulate the hazardous uses that might be made of this technology, if ever it becomes technically feasible? Furthermore, should we advocate the complete reframing of the notion of identity in the digital world, while arguing, in the wake of Levinas, that any person should be entitled to a digital visage, both identified with but also distinct from the physical face?

This scientific event aims at tackling these critical issues by showing both the continuity and persistence of the theme of invisibility. Importantly, speakers will endeavor to cast new light on the new identity-related problems posed by the emerging digital world. This investigation is particularly relevant today: even though digital liberties are gaining traction and progressively finding their way in the democratic pact, risks of serious misuses of new technologies are quite high and may have disastrous consequences. Above all, a good grasp of these issues is a prerequisite for the design of our future economy and its ability to generate wealth and employment whilst taking into account each individual’s identity and need to hide and to be left alone.

SPEAKERS : Pr Dr Paula Bialski (Leuphana Universität Lüneburg, Germany), Pr Dr Michi Knecht (Universität Bremen, Germany), Pr Théodore Christakis (University Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble Alpes Data Institute), Dr Martin Dittus (Oxford Internet Institute), Dr Seda Gürses, (K.U. Leuven, Belgium), Dr Claude Castelluccia (Inria, France), Dr François Viangalli (UGA, France); Dr Cedric Lauradoux (Inria, France)

CONTACT: Judith Shanahan

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Poster Invisible man workshop
Published on January 9, 2018

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Maison Française d'Oxford
2-10 Norham road
Oxford OX2 6SE (GB)