Data is Dangerous: Comparing the Risks that the United States, Canada and Germany See in Data Troves

CIGI Papers No. 241 — April 2020

Posted: 1 Jul 2020

See all articles by Susan Ariel Aaronson

Susan Ariel Aaronson

George Washington University - Elliott School of International Affairs

Date Written: April 15, 2020

Abstract

Data and national security have a complex relationship. Data is essential to national defense — to understanding and countering adversaries. Data underpins many modern military tools from drones to artificial intelligence. Moreover, to protect their citizens, governments collect lots of data about their constituents. Those same datasets are vulnerable to theft, hacking, and misuse. In 2013, the Department of Defense’s research arm (DARPA) funded a study examining if “ the availability of data provide a determined adversary with the tools necessary to inflict nation-state level damage. The results were not made public. Given the risks to the data of their citizens, defense officials should be vociferous advocates for interoperable data protection rules.

This policy brief uses case studies to show that inadequate governance of personal data can also undermine national security. The case studies represent diverse internet sectors affecting netizens differently. I do not address malware or disinformation, which are also issues of data governance, but have already been widely researched by other scholars. I illuminate how policymakers, technologists, and the public are/were unprepared for how inadequate governance spillovers affected national security. I then makes some specific recommendations about what we can do about this problem.

Keywords: Data, National Security, Privacy, Data Flows, AI, Apps, Social Networks

JEL Classification: F1, F5, F52, O32, O38

Suggested Citation

Aaronson, Susan, Data is Dangerous: Comparing the Risks that the United States, Canada and Germany See in Data Troves (April 15, 2020). CIGI Papers No. 241 — April 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3589808

Susan Aaronson (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Elliott School of International Affairs ( email )

1957 E Street
Washington, DC 20052
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.gwu.edu/~elliott/faculty/aaronson.cfm

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
66
PlumX Metrics