Helen Nissenbaum is Professor of Information Science at Cornell Tech. Her research takes an ethical perspectives on policy, law, science, and engineering relating to information technology, computing, digital media and data science. Topics have included privacy, trust, accountability, security, and values in technology design. Her books include Obfuscation: A User's Guide for Privacy and Protest, with Finn Brunton (MIT Press, 2015) and Privacy in Context: Technology, Policy, and the Integrity of Social Life (Stanford, 2010).
Grants from the NSF, AFOSR, and the U.S. DHHS-ONC have supported her work. Recipient of the 2014 Barwise Prize of the American Philosophical Association, Nissenbaum has contributed to privacy-enhancing software, including TrackMeNot and AdNauseam.
Nissenbaum holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Stanford University and a B.A. (Hons) in philosophy and mathematics from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.
Values in Information Technology and Digital Media
Computing, information technology, and digital media are integrated into all aspects of contemporary life, including commerce, finance, education, politics, entertainment, communication and social life. This project-based course studies these technologies through the lens of social, political, and ethical values. Together, we investigate whether and how technical systems promote or impede values to which we, individually and as societies, are committed -- values that include liberty, privacy, autonomy and justice. While we explore concepts and literatures, students will form collaborative groups, select projects and apply philosophical and social theories of technology to analyze and, possibly, design, prototype, and build systems. Ideal project groups will be multidisciplinary and project goals and deliverables will be adjusted to students' backgrounds and skills.