Haiti Earthquake Relief

picture by Beverly & Pack

On 23 October 2018, the Brussels Privacy Hub and the International Committee of the Red Cross hosted a side event at the 40th edition of the annual International Conference of Data Protection & Privacy Commissioners (ICDPPC). The event launched the working series to update the Handbook on Data Protection in Humanitarian Action (Handbook) which was published in July 2017. The revised and more extensive version of the Handbook is due to be issued in January 2020.

The discussion about the issues that urgently need to be addressed in the new edition of the Handbook was opened by Yves Dricot (Deputy Director-General of the Directorate General Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid, Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Massimo Marelli (Head of Data Protection Office, International Committee of the Red Cross) and Christopher Kuner (Co-Director, Brussels Privacy Hub). Alexandrine Pirlot de Corbion (Global South Programme Lead, Privacy International) provided a balanced moderation to the discussion, adding relevant insight about existing and emerging data protection challenges for humanitarian organisations. In their contributions, panellists Christina Vasala Kokkinaki (Legal Officer, International Organisation for Migration), Stuart Campo (Researcher, Signal Program on Human Security and Technology, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative) and Wojciech Wiewiórowski (Assistant European Data Protection Supervisor) emphasised that while there is a legal vacuum in which humanitarian organisations often operate, there is a need for examples of good practice and guidance such as the ones provided in the Handbook that would facilitate the use of technology and application of data protection principles in the humanitarian field.

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A workshop organised by Privacy Salon & Law Science Technology and Society (LSTS), Vrije Universiteit Brussel, supported by Open Society Foundations.

The workshop will take place Monday 10 December 2018 at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium.

This call is primarily aimed at academic researchers, civil society representatives, journalists and practitioners working in the area.

Recently there have been increased calls for scrutiny of the role that algorithms play in society. Algorithms influence life-changing decisions, yet to-date the transparency about how these models operate remain firmly limited Who is responsible for their introduction, integration, fairness and accuracy? What democratic governance structures are proposed, if made available at all? Who procures, monitors and regulates their use? What can be done about algorithmic bias? What bias beyond that is inherent to the data and algorithms do these systems produce? What are the social and ethical consequences of algorithms for individuals, groups, communities, institutions and societies?

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LSTS is looking for motivated researchers to join its research units on:

  • human-robot collaboration and personal data protection law (application deadline: 15 July 2018),
  • smart technologies (energy and transport) and personal data protection law (application deadline: 15 July 2018),
  • data protection and privacy impact assessments (application deadline: 15 July 2018),
  • legal informatics in connection with EU private international law (application deadline: 31 August 2018).

In particular, the researchers are expected to carry out work in respective research projects, furthermore to develop a proposal for a doctoral degree (PhD). In addition, the researchers will have the opportunity to take an active role in LSTS contributing to its research agenda, attending and presenting in seminars, assisting in organizing conferences and workshops, and helping the Centre in competing in national and European funding opportunities. The successful candidates will be integrated in a dynamic team, composed of both experienced and early career researchers, working under the guidance of Prof. Paul de Hert and Prof. Serge Gutwirth.

For the criteria of eligibility and further details of the application visit:

http://www.vub.ac.be/LSTS/vacancies/index.shtml

Ceci est une fake news; Hrag Vartanian 2017 CC BY-ND 2.0 via flickr.com

Hrag Vartanian 2017 CC BY-ND 2.0 via flickr.com

The call for papers for the upcoming 6th volume in European Integration and Democracy series, devoted to challenges for democracy, the rule of law and the respect for fundamental rights, posed by contemporary disinformation practices and digital media, has now been published [PDF 247 KB].

The planned book is a joint endeavour of the Centre for Direct Democracy Studies (CDDS) at the Faculty of Law of the University of Białystok, Poland, the Research Group on Law, Science, Technology and Society (LSTS) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium and the Department of Media and Communication of Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), the Netherlands. The book will be published by Intersentia in mid-2019 under co-editorship of Elżbieta Kużelewska (CDDS), Georgios Terzis (VUB), Daniel Trottier (EUR) and Dariusz Kloza (VUB-LSTS).

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Organised by: Emre Bayamlioglu, Irina Baraliuc, Liisa Janssens, Mireille Hildebrandt

2018 marks the 10th anniversary of ‘Profiling the European Citizen’ (ed. Mireille Hildebrandt and Serge Gutwirth), which brought together lawyers, computer scientists and philosophers around emerging practices of data mining, knowledge discovery in data bases (KDD) and their application in a variety of domains.

The title of the book turns out to have been prophetic, touching upon a series of implications of what has now been coined as the micro targeting of individuals as consumers and citizens, based on machine learning and AB testing.

To celebrate – or even to mourn – the relevance of the volume, LSTS is organizing a seminar to reflect on current affairs and further implications. In two days we will engage with 24 provocations by an awe-inspiring line-up of lawyers, computer scientists, philosophers and social scientists. Focus is on 6 themes that will hopefully induce both deep thinking and a challenging cross-disciplinary conversation:

1. Theories of normativity between law and machine learning
Sylvie Delacroix, Patrick Allo, Seda Guerses, Emre Bayamlioglu
2. Transparency theory for data driven decision making
Karen Yeung, Anton Vedder, Jaap-Henk Hoepman, Gloria Gonzalez Fuster
3. Presumption of innocence in data driven government
Lucia Sommerer, Linnet Taylor, Tobias Blanke, Sabine Gless
4. Legal and political theory in data driven environments
Orla Lynskey, Ben Wagner, Arjen de Vries, Irina Baraliuc
5. Saving machine learning from p-hacking
Antoinette Rouvroy, Felix Stalder, Clare Gollnick, Mireille Hildebrandt
6. The legal and ML status of micro targeting
Bart Custers, Serge Gutwirth, Reuben Binns, Niels van Dijk

Though this is largely an author meets author seminar, some space is open for attendance. Please register with irina.baraliuc@vub.be.

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pic by glgfuster (@flickr)

On Monday 23 April 2018 LSTS researcher Rosamunde van Brakel will publicly defend her PhD thesis ‘Taming The Future: A Rhizomatic Analysis of the Unintended Consequences of Pre-Emptive Surveillance of Children’. The defence will take place in Room D.2.01 (VUB Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering Campus) at 13:00. Please find the official invitation here (pdf).

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pic by evan lavine (@flickr)

Between 25 and 29 June 2018 will take place at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) the 3rd European Data Protection Law Summer School, organised by the Brussels Privacy Hub (BPH). Under the title ‘Putting the GDPR into Practice & in Context‘, it will equip participants to adequately tackle the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and prepare them for the many challenges ahead in the field of data protection and e-privacy. Early bird registration is possible until 30 March 2018. More information, including the list of confirmed lecturers, can be found here.