Viktor Mayer-Schönberger


Author, Economy

Full Bio

Viktor Mayer-Schönberger is an expert on the role of data information in the networked economy, a prolific author, and the professor of internet governance and regulation at the Oxford Internet Institute at Oxford University. He is also a faculty affiliate of the Belfer Center of Science and International Affairs at Harvard University. He has been studying data privacy, governance in virtual worlds, law and entrepreneurship, e-government, and big data. Mayer-Schönberger has also been advocating the right to be ‘forgotten’ in the form of expiration dates on personal information. As an expert on information law and regulation, he advises businesses, governments, and international organizations on the new economy and information society issues.

Big Data Author. Mayer-Schönberger has written eight books, including Das Recht am Info-Highway (1997), Information und Recht, Vom Datenschutz bis zum Urheberrecht (2000), Datenschutzgesetz (2006), Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age (2009), and Big Data: A Revolution That Transforms How we Work, Live, and Think (2013). He is also the author of more than one hundred articles and book chapters on the governance of information.

Best-selling Big Data tackles what big data is, how it will change our lives, and what we can do to protect ourselves from its hazards. Mayer-Schönberger argues that big data analytics are revolutionizing the way people see and process the world – and each other. Of the book, Forbes said, “What I’m certain about is that Big Data will be the defining text in the discussion for some time to come.” Delete won the 2010 Marshall McLuhan Award for Outstanding Book and the 2010 Don K. Price Award for Best Book in Science and Technology Politics. It looks at the surprising phenomenon of perfect remembering in the digital age and reveals the importance of the human capacity to forget. While digital technology empowers people as never before, the perfect record it creates holds unforeseen consequences.

Vast Expertise. In 1986, Viktor Mayer-Schönberger founded Ikarus Software, a company focusing on data security and developed the Virus Utilities, which became the best-selling Austrian software product. The recipient of numerous awards for innovation and entrepreneurship, he was voted “Top Five Software Entrepreneur in Austria” in 1991 and “Person of the Year for the State of Salzburg” in 2000. In 1998, he joined the faculty of Harvard Kennedy School, where he taught at the John F. Kennedy School of Government for 10 years. After three years at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, he is now the chair of internet governance and regulation at the Oxford Internet Institute. Mayer-Schönberger has chaired the Rueschlikon Conference on Information Policy in the New Economy and is also the co-founder of the SubTech conference.

He is a sought-after expert for print and broadcast media worldwide. Mayer-Schönberger and his work have been featured in publications, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, the Economist, Nature, Science, NPR, BBC, The Guardian, Le Monde, El Pais, Die Zeit, Der Spiegel, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Tribune, WIRED, Ars Technica, and more.

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