picture by andreas helke (@flickr)

picture by andreas helke (@flickr)

The Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) welcomes the launch of the Brussels Privacy Hub (BPH), an academic privacy research centre with a global focus. Rge BPH wil use its location in the capital of Europe to engage EU policymakers, data protection regulators, the private sector, and NGOs, and to produce innovative, cutting-edge research on important questions of data protection and privacy law and policy. More information in this brochure (pdf) or the Brussels Privacy Hub (BPH) website.

picture by viktor rosenfeld (@flickr)

picture by viktor rosenfeld (@flickr)

The 8th edition of the Computers, Privacy and Data Protection (CPDP) International Conference will be held on 21-23 January 2015 in Brussels, and several slots remain open for speakers. The CPDP 2015 Call for Papers is split into two different tracks: one dedicated to experienced researchers, and another PhD students and junior researchers. Contributions are welcome not just from legal academics but also from computer scientists, engineers, social scientists, philosophers, etc. Deadline for submissions: Friday 24 October 2014. More information can be found here.

picture by gema (@flickr)

picture by gema (@flickr)

A call for papers for the international conference ‘Citizens’ Perspectives on Surveillance, Security and Privacy: Controversies, Alternatives and Solutions, to take place on 13 and 14 November 2014, in Vienna, has now been published. The event is origanised jointy by the research projects Privacy and Security Mirrors (PRISMS)Public perception of security and privacy: Assessing knowledge, Collecting evidence, Translating research into action (PACT) and Surveillance, Privacy and Security: A large scale participatory assessment of criteria and factors determining acceptability and acceptance of security technologies in Europe (SurPRISE). The deadline for abstract submission is 21 September 2014. The call for abstracts can be accessed here: Call-for-Abstracts- PRISMS Final conference Vienna.

picture by el_turista_accidental (@flickr)

picture by el_turista_accidental (@flickr)

The proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Internet, Law & Politics (IDP 2014) ‘A decade of transformations’ are now available for download here. They include contributions by two LSTS researchers: Anna Moscibroda (‘Territorial limitations in collective management of copyright after CISAC judgements) and Gloria González Fuster (How uninformed is the average data subject? A quest for benchmarks in EU personal data protection’). More information on IDP 2014 can be found here.

picture by ardinnnn (@flickr)

picture by ardinnnn (@flickr)

Titled ‘Privacy in Times of Smart Surveillance: Conference on Ethics and Rights as Standards for European Surveillance practices‘, the final Conference of the SAPIENT project (Supporting fundamental rights, prIvacy and ethics in surveillance technologies) will take place on 1st and 2nd July 2014 at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), in Brussels. The programme is available here.

picture by rachel carter (@flickr)

picture by rachel carter (@flickr)

An international study examining the obstacles faced by citizens in accessing their personal data has found serial malpractice and obfuscation on the part of public and private sector organisations when citizens seek clarification of what these organisations know about them. The study was led by the University of Sheffield and investigated 327 organisations in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Slovakia, Spain and the United Kingdom. It forms part of the IRISS (Increasing Resilience in Surveillance Societies) project, funded by the European Union. It documents the actual experience citizens have when trying to use the law to access their data.

European and national laws give citizens the right to know how their personal data is used, shared and processed by private and public sector organisations. The study, encompassing citizen interactions with 327 sites, found that what should have been a straightforward process was complex, confusing, frustrating and, in the end, largely unsuccessful. The research sites were chosen based on a consideration of the socio-economic domains in which citizens encounter surveillance on a systematic basis: health, transport, employment, education, finance, leisure, communication, consumerism, civic engagement, and security and criminal justice. The study’s executive summary, policy brief, meta-analyses and individual country reports can all be accessed here.