On Thursday 15 June 2017 Raphaël Gellert will publicly defend his PhD thesis ‘Understanding the Risk-based Approach to Data Protection: An Analysis of the Links between Law, Regulation and Risk‘ at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). The event will start at 18:00 and take place at Auditorium D.2.01. Please find the official invitation (including the email address to contact in order to confirm attendance) here (pdf).
The book ‘Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Relations as a Challenge for Democracy‘ has been published by Interesentia. Co-edited by Dan Svantensonn and LSTS Researcher Dariusz Kloza, the collective volume focuses on the protection of data privacy in relations between Europe and America as a challenge for democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights. More information can be found here.
On 22 May 2017 will take place at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) a seminar around the magnus opus of and with Professor (MIT) Em. Gary T. Marx. In this event, Prof. Gary Marx will give a short summary of the main findings of his last book – Windows into the soul. Surveillance and society in an age of high technology (Chicago U.P. 2016) – after which four selected respondents will open a discussion with the author and the audience. The discussants will be Prof. Tugba Basaran (Visiting Scholar, Princeton University; Associate Researcher, CCLS Paris), Prof. Marieke De Goede, (Universiteit van Amsterdam, Department of Political Science) Dr. Joris Van Hoboken, (Universiteit van Amsterdam, IVIR, and Affiliated Researcher, LSTS, VUB) and Dr. Kristof Verfaillie. For more information, please read the official invitation (pdf). Registration is possible until 16 May 2017.
The Brussels Privacy Hub is proud to announce the 2nd European Data Protection Law Summer School, which will take place from 26 to 30 June 2017 at the Institute of European Studies (IES), in Brussels. Building on the success of the inaugural 2016 session, and under the title ‘The GDPR is Now’, the 2nd European Data Protection Law Summer School will equip participants to deal with the many challenges that lie ahead when the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) enters into force in May 2018. This practical dimension will be combined with a more general exploration of the evolving global and European privacy landscape, with a particular emphasis on transatlantic issues, and current policy debates (including the ongoing review of the EU E-Privacy Directive). Early bird registration is possible until 21 April 2017. For more information, please visit the Data Protection Law Summer School page.
On 9th March Mireille Hildebrandt will be speaking at the Innovation Policy Colloquium of New York University, invited by Helen Nissenbaum and Katherine Strandburg on ‘From Law as Information to Law as Calculation’. Building on her book and her Chorley Lecture she will discuss how the idea of computational law or jurimetrics stemmed from a previous wave of artificial intelligence, based on an algorithmic understanding of law, celebrating logic as the sole ingredient for proper legal argumentation. She will confront Holmes’ famous adage that the life of the law is experience rather than logic with the new wave of artificial intelligence, based on co-called machine learning, that builds on machine experience. Noting that current development of computational law build on (machine) experience rather than logic, Hildebrandt predicts (sic!) that such computational law may be far more successful in terms e.g. predicting the content of positive law. She will, however, argue that such computational law does not qualify as law, but rather as public administration or as a commodity on the market for legal services. This raises a number of questions about the interaction between legal machine intelligence, the law and the Rule of Law. Notably when it comes to ‘speaking law to power’. The Lecture concerns a paper that will be presented on 25th March at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law, for the Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Technology and the Future of Law, in the panel on ‘Will Technology Challenge the Conceptual Foundations of the Law?‘
With a set of more than 50 recommendations for the improvement of practical cooperation between data protection authorities, a multi-national research consortium – led by Prof. Dr. Paul De Hert of Vrije Universiteit Brussel – concluded a four-year research initiative in the framework of two projects named “PHAEDRA”. These studies were commissioned and financially supported by the European Union.
“Personal data no longer stay within one country. They are constantly being exchanged between jurisdictions and this elevates risks for both individuals as well as public and private organisations. When something goes wrong – for example a data breach – the consequences are not only often serious, but also these consequences equally often occur in more than one country. Given the importance of information for contemporary economy and national security, an adequate response to tackle this challenge is therefore critically needed. It is a global standard in data protection law that dedicated supervisory authorities have been set up not only to sanction violations of this branch of law, but also to work to prevent these violations from happening. These authorities normally have been busy with matters concerning their own countries. As these days personal data transcend boundaries, these authorities now need to work together efficiently to achieve this double end” – said Prof. De Hert.
As the Computers, Privacy and Data Protection (CPDP) Conference is about to celebrate its 10th birthday, we look back at 10 years of CPDP programmes and their covers.
It all started in October 2007 with the brochure of the ‘Reinventing Data Protection?’ International Conference, which took place in October 2007 at deBuren, in Brussels. The orginal handout mixed a photocopied hand and a barcode, a simple yet effective combination producing a sort of modern allegory of human beings in modern societies, difficult to surpass.
Perhaps fearing that indeed such a telling image was impossible to surpass, in 2009 the Conference came back with a handout with almost exactly the same picture. Continuity was also guaranteed by the fact that the event was again held in deBuren, and also came with an interrogative title: ‘Data Protection in A Profiled World?’, the Conference wondered. The gathering had already adopted what was to become its official name, Computers, Privacy and Data Protection International Conference, and this time it took place in January, which was to eventually become the CPDP month for many years. The repeated cover picture did have some negative effects, notably generating a certain degree of anxiety among those who were distributing it, as they were never sure they were distributing the right one.
By its third edition, in 2010, CPDP continued to search for its marks and started to be celebrated on the week of the Data Protection Day, also known as Data Privacy Day, which is the 28th January as many data subjects know. This time the event came with a very assertive title: ‘An Element of Choice’, proclaimed the programme, and the cover picture saw a person comfortably floating over a multimedia sea. Exceptionally, the event was organised at the Kaaitheater.
The 2011 programme made a clin d’oeil to the original edition by bringing back a hand, although this time not photocopied but X-rayed and holding a mouse, and now against a white background. 2011 was the year CPDP moved to Les Halles de Schaerbeek, and also the year that the Conference started to have an official duration of three days. The title of the 4th edition pondered: ‘European Data Protection: In Good Health?’.
The white background started to become recurrent with the 5th edition, in 2012. By then, optimism appeared to be in the air, in light of the confident title: ‘European Data Protection: Coming of Age’. The cover leaned towards abstraction with a close up of a fragment of a sandglass, possibly hinting somehow that coming of age takes time.
In 2013, the 6th CPDP edition opted for an even closer relation between message and image, illustrating that it was all about ‘Reloading Data Protection’ with a half-loaded battery. The novelty of having an almost solid blue background was compensated by the reassuring way in which the ‘reloading data protection‘ reverberated the primal ‘reinventing data protection?’ mantra.
Not about re-inventing or re-loading data protection but about re-forming it was the 7th edition of CPDP in 2014. That year the Conference was titled ‘Reforming Data Protection: The Global Perspective’, and the illustration emphasised the importance of this global perspective with a globe where countries were depicted in different shades of blue, reigning over a white background.
Abstraction was the keyword in 2015, when the idea of ‘Data Protection on the Move’ that guided the 8th edition of CPDP was graphically encapsulated by a blurry image of what could be imagined to be data, dynamically going in all directions against a black space, for reinforced dramatic effect.
Magritte was one of the main sources of inspiration for CPDP 2016‘s graphics: a bowler hat and suit were worn by a data network-like (almost) invisible man, against the by then already classical white background. The image appropratetly reverberated the 9th edition title, concerned with ‘Invisibilities & Infrastructures’.
Finally, this years’ CPDP comes with the promising slogan ‘The Age of Intelligent Machines’, accompanied by an exclusive drawing signed by Rayman and based on an idea by Dara Hallinan. All quintessential elements of a good CPDP programme cover are thus there, announcing a great 10th edition.