#839 XR Ethics: The Challenges of Privacy Engineering with Diane Hosfelt

Mozilla’s Diane Hosfelt is the Privacy and Security Lead on Mozilla’s Mixed Reality Team, and I had a chance to sit down with her again a two months after our SIGGRAPH panel discussion. Hosfelt has been spending a lot of time writing academic papers looking at privacy on the immersive web, including this piece she posted in May titled “Making ethical decisions for the immersive web.” I sat down with Hosfelt at Mozilla’s View Source conference in Amsterdam on October 1st in order to get some updates on her latest work on helping to define the landscape for privacy on the immersive web.

She talks about some of the legal frameworks for privacy, including some of the cultural differences between privacy law in the United States compared to the UK and other countries around the world. She also talks quite a bit about this concept of “privacy engineering,” which is a relatively new discipline that tries to look at the intersection between technical architectures, public policy, and the sociological impacts of technology on civil liberties. She shares some of her takeaways from the new 2019 USENIX Conference on Privacy Engineering Practice and Respect that she attended in August including that privacy engineering is hard, because there are no perfect solutions and it’s an emerging discipline that’s hard to connect the dots between technological implementation and sociological impact and potential harms caused.


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Music: Fatality