Big Data Surveillance: Snowden, Everyday Practices and the Digital Future

Leeds University School of Law hosted Professor David Lyon for its annual CCJS lecture, which several members of the Data Science Society were pleased to be able to attend. Professor Lyon is a pioneering figure in the study of surveillance and his lecture centred on how the rise of Big Data has affected the practice of surveillance by various authorities, most notably by the NSA whose activities were revealed by Edward Snowden, and how its development will continue to change surveillance practices.

A sociologist by background, Professor Lyon’s perspectives were particularly helpful to data soc members whose interests in public policy and health often intersect questions about privacy and decision making, as well as the nature of making predictions from aggregated data sets.

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