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Arvind Narayanan – Ethical Training of Software Engineers: Why and How

Thursday, November 7, 2013
12:30 pm


Sherrerd Hall, 3rd floor open space
Princeton, NJ 08544 United States + Google Map

Streaming Live:
Food and discussion begins at 12:30 pm. Everyone invited.

Software developers create the architectures that govern our online and often our offline lives — from software-controlled cars and medical systems to digital content consumption and behavioral advertising. In fact, software shapes our societal values. Are the creators of code aware of the power that they wield, and the responsibilities that go with it? As students, are they trained in the ethics of their discipline?

In this talk, Arvind will: 1) explain the importance of ethical training of software engineers, and how the scale and pace of modern software development makes ethical issues particularly thorny, 2) examine whether hacker culture and Silicon Valley entrepreneurship culture contribute to ethical blindness, especially when it comes to privacy, and 3) discuss the responsibility of computer science educators and the best way to incorporate ethics into the curriculum.


Arvind Narayanan (Ph.D. 2009) is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Princeton. He studies information privacy and security and has a side-interest in technology policy. His research has shown that data anonymization is broken in fundamental ways, for which he jointly received the 2008 Privacy Enhancing Technologies Award. Narayanan is one of the researchers behind the “Do Not Track” proposal. His most recent research direction is the use of Web measurement to uncover how companies are using our personal information.

Narayanan is an affiliated faculty member at the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton and an affiliate scholar at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society. You can follow him on Twitter at @random_walker.