Simon Davies, visiting researcher at LSTS, has published an authoritative examination of the consequences of Edward Snowden’s revelations. The report was made possible through the support and contribution from a wide range of privacy experts, and is entitled ‘A Crisis of Accountability: A Global Analysis of the Impact of the Snowden Revelations’.
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.
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.
Renata Salecl, Senior Researcher at the Institute of Criminology, Faculty of Law a the University of Ljubljana, and Professor at Birkbeck College, University of London, will give a presentation titled “Law between Neuroscience and Psychoanalysis” onn Monday 23 June 2014, at VUB (7 pm – 9 pm, room 4B 302). The talk is organised by LSTS in the context of VUB L&C talks. To register, please contact: Evenementen.email@example.com.
On 6 May 2014, the second workshop on “Challenges and barriers for cooperation and coordination between DPAs” took place as a side event to the 55th meeting of the International Working Group on Data Protection in Telecommunications (IWGDPT), the so-called Berlin group (5-6 May 2014, Skopje). Members of the PHAEDRA consortium presented the results of the project so far, and representatives of Data Protection Authorities (DPAs) gave short presentations. The agenda is available here. A news video is available here.
On 9 May 2014, the PHAEDRA project published part 2 of the second deliverable, titled “Legal reflections for further improving cooperation between data protection authorities”. The report reflects on the instruments for cooperation between DPAs, the independence of DPAs and other possible elements that could improve current practices of cooperation between DPAs. It also provides lessons from legal areas other than data protection. The report was produced by Professor Dr. Paul De Hert and Gertjan Boulet, researchers from VUB-LSTS. The full report is available here.
‘Corporate transparency is crucial, but it must also become more meaningful‘ is the title of a contribution by LSTS members Paul De Hert and Dariusz Kloza to the blog of The Privacy Surgeon, where they outline the growing trend to transparency and argue why such information must move from being merely “available” to being “meaningful”. Check it here.
Following last year’s revelations, Edward Snowden seems to be trapped in a role ironically reminiscent of another famous character – George Orwell’s Big Brother. Read the full text on ‘Edward Snowden: the last Big Brother?‘, by Gloria González Fuster and Rocco Bellanova, at Opendemocracy.net’s ‘Joining the dots on state surveillance in Europe‘ series.