TRANSFORM speaker series: Dana Budzyn

Recent graduate in bioengineering Dana Budzyn was an intern at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory when she realized how health data could help solve some of the world’s most puzzling medical mysteries. More importantly, she realized that it could provide people with a vested interest in and ownership of the cures.

Dana applied to speak at this year’s event to offer an explanation of the importance of data from the perspective of a young millennial female working in a field that is largely dominated by males.

“While many people talk about data privacy, they typically tend to overcomplicate things,” Dana explains, “which turns people away from such an important issue.”

Without giving away any big spoilers, Dana’s talk in September will be about rebranding of data, and helping people think about who and what they are differently than in the past.

“I am working in the data privacy and monetization space, and while people are developing new tools every day, the general public doesn’t even know what is being taken from them,” she said. “There is a huge education piece around data before any big changes can happen around privacy.”

Dana challenges whether “free” things are actually free.

While millions of people across the world have never had to pay for services like Google and Facebook, users have accepted terms agreeing to sell off their privacy and data. That data is a resource that is more valuable than money, Dana says.

“I hope the audience will walk away making informed decisions on what they are giving up and what they are receiving,” she said.

As Sept. 22 approaches, Dana is still working on fine-tuning her speech.

“More and more data privacy issues are arising though, so it’s hard to keep up on a day-to-day basis to make sure my talk is still relevant and focused for our guests!”

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