Power of Difference Assessment System; Apple and the FBI: Divergent Ideas About Privacy and Security

Shankman, Sam, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Norton, Peter, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia
Ibrahim, Ahmed, EN-Comp Science Dept, University of Virginia

People often make decisions on the basis of what they already believe without listening to other perspectives. This makes communication competitive instead of cooperative. Poor communication desensitizes people to what others say.

The Power of Difference Assessment system helps people learn about their demographic biases and how to communicate better with those who differ. The system was not user friendly and generating and assembling results could take five or more minutes. A new system was developed in the Django web framework. The team used an Agile methodology with two-week sprints and biweekly customer meetings. The system was deployed on Amazon Web Services to support many concurrent users. The new system is user friendly and it automatically generates results in under a minute.

The 2015 San Bernardino shooting led to a 2016 iPhone encryption dispute between Apple and the FBI. The reactions to this case revealed divergent views on privacy and security. There is no clear consensus on whether security supersedes privacy or if privacy is essential to security. Views vary by social groups’ values. To the FBI and its supporters, privacy conflicts with security, but to Apple and its supporters, privacy is essential to security. Law enforcement supports security over privacy as privacy can be a barrier to investigations. Consumer electronics companies and civil liberties groups support privacy as complementary to security due to cybersecurity threats linked to insufficient privacy. Consumer electronics companies also value privacy to earn consumers’ trust.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Manifest Function, Latent Function, Privacy and Security, Assessment System

School of Engineering and Applied Science
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Technical Advisor: Ahmed Ibrahim
STS Advisor: Peter Norton
Technical Team Members: Peter Felland, Amelia Hampford, Nuzaba Nuzhat, David Xue, Connor Yager, Carl Zhang, William Zheng

Issued Date: