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Seminar: the Rt Hon David Blunkett on 'balancing security and privacy in an open society'


The Rt Hon David Blunkett MP, will give a seminar on Monday, 7 March, entitled “'Balancing security and privacy in an open society”.

This lecture will reflect on how Jefferson's ‘Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ might be rendered in the modern world as ‘security, freedom and well-being’. Here in Britain it is right for us to debate how we can maintain privacy and freedom both from the state and within the state. It is right for us to question the steps we take lest the example we offer be turned against us by those we preach to on liberty, privacy and the maintenance of security without oppression.

The same tension is evident in the growing problem of e-crime, demonstrated by recent Cabinet Office research estimating it to result in a £27billion hit on individuals, businesses and government in terms of identity fraud and cyber scams. Both the individual and democratic organs of government have an obligation to join together in protecting the rights of all of us to privacy.

David Blunkett is Member of Parliament for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough. He has formerly held high government office, being Education Secretary in Tony Blair's first cabinet in 1997, and becoming Home Secretary in 2001, in which office he was instrumental in the development of policy on Identity Cards and the National Identity Database. Now a back-bench MP, he retains a strong interest in the impact of information security in many sectors, and chairs the Advisory Board for the UK chapter of the Information Systems Security Association.

The talk forms part of The Information Security and Privacy Programme’s seminar series.  The talk will be happening at 5 p.m. on Monday, 7 March 2011, at Oxford University Computing Laboratory, Lecture Theatre B. Enter through OeRC reception on Keble Road before 5pm, or through the side Computing Laboratory Reception on Parks Road, before 5.15pm. Booking not required.

For further information contact: Andrew Martin.