Big Data: The End of Privacy?

Register Here

The debate:

There are more people connected to the Internet today (over three billions) than there were inhabitants on the planet in 1960. In addition, the number of connected devices of all kinds has exploded, with individuals connecting through several channels such as traditional desktops, mobile devices such as laptops, tablets, Smartphones or other equipment such as connected cars, personal devices, and the wide range of objects composing the Internet of Things.

All these connections and associated transactions generate data. In 1992, the Internet traffic worldwide was in average of 100 gigabytes per day (yes, this is less than the storage of a typical Smartphone today). In 1997, this traffic had grown to 100 gigabytes per hour, and to 100 gigabytes per second in 2002. The forecast for 2018 is around 50’000 gigabytes per second, amounting to 2.5 quintillion (1018) of bytes of data generated every single day.

The benefits

The collection of such amounts of data has direct benefits for the world. Big data is used in health and well-being, through the monitoring of individual parameters and the prevention of diseases (such as controlling diabetes through the measurement of glucose level). Big data can help users in saving time and money, by matching offers with customers’ profiles in on-line sales, in travel preparation, by monitoring one’s car parameters and avoiding breakdowns, or by controlling energy usage at home. There are also number of other benefits in traffic management and urban transport planning, in waste management, or in healthcare (as in the monitoring of epidemics).

The issues

All the elements listed in the benefits we described require the collection of individual hence private data, through individual apps stored on personal devices, on-line transactions, in-store purchases, etc. Through the monitoring, data collection and mining, analysis, segmentation and profiling, public institutions and private firms alike gather a wealth of private data on their customers, users, and citizens.

To what extend should one give access to their individual data? Is one well informed about the amount of information gathered while surfing the Net or simply connecting to an application? Is this information well protected from hacking or misuse? Is this a generational issue and do the millennial have the same vision of privacy? Who should decide? Is it too late anyway?

The purpose of this D.BATE is hence to explore the questions arising from big data, and its impact on privacy, as well as the balance between security and freedom, benefits and threats.

D.BATES @ Webster University Geneva has invited three experts in the field to address these issues and many others to be discovered during the session, to share their views and insights, and to debate with the audience.

The Speakers (tbc):

  • Xavier Tanazacq, EMEA Business Development Manager, The Economist

  • Dr. Claude Chaudet, Head of Computer Science Department, Webster University Geneva


Dr. Fernando Lagrana, Director, Doctoral of Business Administration


The Venue:

Webster University Geneva, 15, Route de Collex, 1293 Bellevue

The Schedule:

30th March 2017, 18h30-21h00

About D.BATES:

D.BATES are an initiative of Webster University Geneva to promote academic research through public discussions around themes of interest for the whole community. They aim at providing a common platform for, and a link between academia, international organizations and industry, theory and practice, local expertise and issues of worldwide concern.

Who Should Attend?

D.BATES are open to academia, decision-makers in business and international organizations, current and prospective doctoral students, as well as the general public and the press.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Webster University Geneva, LLC Commons Room
Route de Collex 9 1293 Bellevue, Switzerland



Webster University Geneva
Google Calendar iCal Outlook

Event Registration Required

This event requires registration.