The CyLab Distinguished Speaker Seminar series brings world-class academics, entrepreneurs, government officials, and technologists across a variety of security and privacy disciplines to engage with the CMU community. 


Speaker:  Laura Noren, VP of Privacy and Trust at Obsidian Security

Topic: "What could go wrong? Tales from Technology in the Wild"

In the style of Aesop's fables, Laura Norén presents tales of data-driven technologies as they are released into the wild (society). Following the theme of data science, Norén explores what could go wrong (or right!) when technologies are released quickly, images and emotions are automatically classified, instant gratification is treated as a virtue, health outcomes are predicted in advance, and data monopolies ascend to the pinnacle of key industries. This talk presents three colorful data ethics fables each leading to a key lesson representing a pillar of a sound data ethics practice. This story driven format is accessible, humorous, and engaging for broad audiences. 

Light refreshments will be served.



Laura Norén is a data science ethicist, speaker, and researcher currently serving as the VP of Privacy and Trust at Obsidian Security. Her work focuses on employee data rights, capable data guardianship, and privacy compliance. She is a visiting ccholar at NYU’s Center for Data Science and UC-Berkeley’s Division of Data Science and Information, and is a member of the Technology & Society Working Group at NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge.  

Norén earned undergraduate degrees at MIT, and a Ph.D. at NYU, where she completed a Moore-Sloan Postdoc. As a postdoc, she taught the first Data Science Ethics course at NYU, and designed a thought-provoking digital humanities course, Data Rules: How quantification shapes science, selves, and states

Noren is a founding elected officer of the Data Science Cooperative, a community of PhD-holders engaged in data science research and teaching. She also serves on the Ethics Advisory Panel of Project Lead the Way, a K-12 STEM curriculum developer.

Norén’s work on data ethics been covered in The New York Times, Canada's Globe and Mail, and American Public Media's Marketplace. On Thursdays, she and Brad Stenger publish the Data Science Community Newsletter covering the world of academic and applied data science.

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