Yesterday, the NYU Tandon School of Engineering hosted Vint Cerf, one of the "fathers of the Internet" and the Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist at Google for a discussion on "The Coming Age of the Internet of Things." Cerf's keynote discussion focused particularly on the need for citizens to gain greater understanding and control of how their personal information is being used as more and more devices – from personal fitness trackers to washing machines – are connected to the Internet.
Following the keynote, Cerf participated in a panel discussion on the Internet of Things with the Network chair and director of the GovLab Beth Simone Noveck and Cornell Tech computer science professor and Network member Deborah Estrin. In a post for The Wall Street Journal's CIO Report, Steven Norton described the panel discussion:
"In a panel discussion following Mr. Cerf’s keynote, a group of Internet of Things researchers touted the public and commercial benefits of being able to access reams of user-generated data. But some on the panel, which included Mr. Cerf, Cornell Tech computer science professor Deborah Estrin and Tandon School professor Beth Simone Noveck, cautioned against making data available solely to private interests, an outcome that could restrict consumer privacy and hamper public research efforts.
'Ultimately and finally this is an issue about control,' said Ms. Noveck, who directs The Governance Lab at NYU. 'This is about getting our own data back about ourselves.' She also stressed the importance of finding ways to share societal information collected by private companies – such as weather and temperature data – with government and researchers to more effectively address policy issues."