Big Data and Information Privacy

How can we harness the remarkably fine-grained, real-time data now available to answer age-old questions and identify new opportunities? 

Engineering better societies and organizations through data analytics and network science

The IDE is generating new insights about big data and information privacy by quantifying real-world interactions and producing interventions that change behavior at scale. With novel “living lab” platforms that use real people in real environments to uncover novel insights about human behavior, our team of researchers incorporate analysis and research into real-world applications. In collaboration with the Internet Trust Initiative, the IDE has established a “New Deal on Data”: a set of principles and practices that address privacy and security concerns by fine-grained tracking of data ownership and controlling its flow.

The IDE is working with NGOs and organizations like the United Nations to address crucial human rights issues, such as poverty and genocide, through sophisticated data tracking.

Sustainable Digital Ecology

In this era, Big Data comes with the fear that the economic environment will be dominated by those with the biggest computers and most access to consumer personal data. This is not just an worry of economics: the scandal surrounding the US National Security Agency demonstrates that similar dangers exist within governments. Moreover, an ecology with such winner-take-all dynamics is likely to be volatile and unstable. This project, headed by Sandy Pentland, investigates alternate architectures for a digital ecology that might prove more sustainable.