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The Pros and Cons of Highly Interconnected Systems

ONLINE PRIVACY

August 1, 2012

In a column for MIT’s Technology Review, John Palfrey and Urs Gasser discuss the theory of highly interconnected systems—what they call “interop.” As we move toward smart grids and electronic health records—systems designed to help society—“we can take this interconnection too far, without thinking through its consequences first,” they write, adding, “Security and privacy risks are the most common problems that flow from unchecked levels of interoperability.” Both argue “that we need to get interop right if we are to address some of the biggest challenges of our era…We cannot take this flow of information for granted; it has to be planned and managed.” Editor’s Note: Urs Gasser will speak at the IAPP Navigate 2012 executive forum, to be held in conjunction with the IAPP Privacy Academy in San Jose, CA, this October.
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