The book ‘Reloading Data Protection: Multidisciplinary Insights and Contemporary Challenges‘, edited by Serge Gutwirth, Ronald Leenes and Paul De Hert is now available from Springer. The book has four sections: first, it reviews developments in data protection in different parts of the world; second, it focuses on the right to be forgotten in a digital world; third, it presents studies on surveillance, control and steering of individuals and groups of people, and, finally, it explores the changing nature of privacy (concerns) and data protection. More information can be found here.
On Tuesday 17 December 2013, LSTS will welcome Kim Hendickx, of the Université de Liège’s Spiral Research Group, for a seminar around his work in progress on the subject of “Free circulating statements: anthropological notes on food-related health claims in the EU“. The event, organised in the context of VUB’s Food Law Hub activities, will take place at VUB’s room 4B302 from 12:00 to 14:00.
On Monday 18 November 2013, LSTS members Niels van Dijk and Raphaël Gellert will give a presentation titled ‘A Risk to a Right?” Beyond Data Protection Risk Assessments’ in the context of Metajuridica department’s Research Gatherings. The presentation will deal with the conceptual novelty of ‘a risk to a right’, and with some of the many question it raises several questions: How can policy makers, regulators and lawyers know about risks to fundamental rights and freedoms before a project or a technology is implemented? Who will get to decide what constitutes a risk to a right, and according to which methodologies and principles? Which are the rights and freedoms in this context? The event will take place on Monday 18 November between 12:30 and 14:00 at VUB (room 4C306).
On 12 November 2013 will take place in Castelló de la Plana (Spain) the ‘International Conference on the Proposal for a European General Data Protection Regulation: The Main Current Challenges for Privacy’. Organised by Universitat Jaume I, the event will address issues such as the strengthening of individual rights in the Internet Age, globalisation as a challenge for data protection, and the main challenges for privacy. LSTS members Paul de Hert and Gloria González Fuster are among the invited speakers. The full programme is here (pdf).
LSTS researcher Rosamunde van Brakel has been invited to speak at a workshop on ‘Critical Explorations of Data and Security’ organised by Torin Monahan (UNC Chapel Hill) and Priscilla M. Regan (George Mason University) which will take place November 15-16, 2013 at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Rosamunde will give a presentation about the social, ethical and legal issues raised by preemptive surveillance.
As every day brings along more news on the secret activities of the United States (US) National Security Agency (NSA), our MUSIC & SURVEILLANCE series examines the work of one of its most precious and intriguing fruits: Bill Callahan, alias Smog.
Bill Callahan‘s parents used to work as language analysts for the NSA. He grew up at Silver Spring, Maryland, and soon started to compose and experiment with lo-fi home recording techniques. His early compositions, published under the nickname Smog, are strange songs about confusion and loneliness mixed with sometimes painful sounds. He later touched upon many different styles and moods, playing with blues, folk, country, and even dub. As he wrote himself, he “used to be darker”, then “got lighter“, and then “got darker again”.
Surveillance is never too far from Callahan’s music. Being watched and feeling guilty are two of the most prominent subjects in his discography. The first one is crucial for instance in “Goldfish Bowl“, from the 1995 LP “Wild Love” (“You’re watching me like a hawk“, he sings), or in the unambiguously titled “Live As If Someone Is Always Watching You“, of 2001′s “Rain On Lens“. Guilt is often addressed through the recurrent image of water, related to purification. Both subjects sometimes converge, such as in “River Guard”, from the 1999 album “Knock Knock“, about a guard who supervises prisoners when they go swimming, and who asserts that “we are constantly on trial / It’s a way to be free“.
But Callahan’s greatest ode to privacy invasions is undoubtedly “You Moved In”, from 1996′s “The Doctor Came At Dawn“. Here, the singer addresses somebody who “moved in” to his hotel, to announce her that he tapped her phones, and read her mail. The song’s final verses are: “And I hope you don’t mind / If I grab your private life / slap it on the table / and split it / with a knife“.
Finally, it is worth noting that the artist appears in a TV, very much like an Orwellian telescreened Big Brother, in the official video for “I Feel Like The Mother Of The World”, taken from “A River Ain’t Too Much To Love“, of 2005. Text by Gloria González Fuster
On 25 November 2013 LSTS will welcome a presentation by Katja de Vries (LSTS) and Sebastian Abrahamsson (Universiteit van Amsterdam) titled ‘Food, Law and Waste: The Muffinman Case‘. Inspired by the case of Steven De Geynst, who in 2011 took two bags of muffins from a dumpster outside a GB supermarket in Rupelmonde and was brought to court for theft, they will analyse how food waste can be legally conceptualized (through property, sanitary regulations and privacy laws). Drawing upon the events that followed, they will also explore the conflicts between different interests and concerns that were actualised. The presentation will take place from 12:30 to 14:00 in the VUB room 4C306.