Cyber security and privacy: Israeli developers in the global world of practice

PI: Dr. Rivka Ribak. 


In his work on the politics of algorithms, Tarleton Gillespie (2016) urges the study of algorithms to attend to "the people involved at every point: people debating the models, cleaning the training data, designing the algorithms, tuning the parameters, deciding on which algorithms to depend on in which context" (2016:22). The proposed research heeds his call, seeking to trace the ways in which social ideas about cyber security and privacy are shaped before they are inscribed in code. Specifically, as the hi-tech industry becomes transnational, the research is designed to disentangle the flow of ideas about cyber security and privacy in local and cross-cultural encounters, and to shed light on the ways in which these social ideas are negotiated and then written as software for apps and related products. Drawing on interviews with Israeli developers, it addresses three questions: How do Israeli developers conceptualize information privacy and data security? How are local concepts of privacy and security re-shaped in the encounter between Israeli developers and other developers – from the US, from Europe, from Asia? How are these cross-cultural encounters stabilized and inscribed in code?