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Monthly Archives: February 2013

“working the pipes” by john maddin (@flickr)

A consortium of four partners from Belgium, the UK, Spain and Poland has initiated a new European project aimed at helping data protection authorities (DPAs) around the world to improve the enforcement of privacy laws.

The two-year research project, called PHAEDRA, started in January 2013 and is co-funded by the European Union under its Fundamental Rights and Citizenship programme. PHAEDRA is the acronym for “Improving Practical and Helpful cooperAtion bEtween Data PRotection Authorities”. The four partners include Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium), Trilateral Research & Consulting (UK), Universitat Jaume I (Spain) and the Inspector General for Personal Data Protection (GIODO), the Polish data protection authority.

“In the spirit of the ombudsman idea, Member States of the EU have established data protection authorities, who operate de facto privacy help desks that support citizens confronted with privacy and data protection problems, be it spam, identity theft or black lists stored in third countries without data protection. These data protection authorities became a recognisable feature of Europe’s Information Society helping, on a no-cost basis, citizens, companies and state institutions with legal advice or using their administrative and police powers to fight data protection abuses,” says Prof. Paul De Hert, the PHAEDRA project co-ordinator from VUB.

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The IRISS project has recently published a report entitled Surveillance, Fighting Crime and Violence. First of several deliverables, it analyses the factors underpinning the development and use of surveillance systems and technologies, their implications, social and economic costs and impacts on civil liberties, fundamental rights and ethical aspects. The IRISS consortium has identified specific trends in surveillance and given recommendations as regards the development of surveillance technologies and practices in Europe.

The report was produced by a consortium of 16 European partners from universities, research institutes and companies. The Vrije Universiteit Brussel – Research Group on Law, Science, Technology and Society (VUB-LSTS) contributes to the project and Paul De Hert and Antonella Galetta are part of the consortium.

On the occasion of the publication of the report, the consortium has issued the following press release:
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