Students Staff

11 November 2016

Is big brother watching you?

As organisations collect, analyse, share and use more and more of our data, the University of Essex will explore if big brother really is watching at an event next week.

‘Big Data, Big Brother?’ is the fourth event in the Talk Big Data series and will explore privacy, consent and ethics in the digital age.

Dr Daragh Murray

Dr Daragh Murray

It will take place on Thursday 17 November, 5.30-7.00pm, at Essex Business School at the University’s Colchester Campus. Speakers are: Gus Hosein, Executive Director, Privacy International; Andrew Stott, former Director for Transparency and Digital Engagement for the UK Government and member of the Public Sector Transparency Board; Dr Nathan Lea, Farr Institute of Health Informatics Research; and Dr Daragh Murray of the University’s Human Rights Centre.

Dr Murray, who is part of the University’s Human Rights and Big Data Technology (HRBDT) Project, will chair the discussion. He said: “There is a growing awareness that organisations are collecting our data, but how many people really understand what these organisations do with it, and most importantly what that means for them, their lives and our democracy?

“Our panel will discuss whether organisations know too much about us and whether we should be concerned. We will also explore how to minimise the potential harm of surveillance while maximising the benefit of data to society.”

The free event is the penultimate session in the Talk Big Data series organised by the HRBDT Project, the Administrative Data Research Network (ADRN) and the Business and Local Government Data Research Centre (BLGDRC). All three big data projects are based at the University and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

The events are all open to members of the public, businesses, charities and other organisations as well as University students, academics and staff. Booking is advised to guarantee a place. Book your seat at:

After each event there will be an opportunity for attendees to network with each other and the speakers, and to find out more about how they could work and engage with the three centres.


More information
For further information please contact Neal Robertson, Public Engagement and Communications Officer at the Business and Local Government Data Research Centre, or telephone: 01206 873857.

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