Seven deadly sins against privacy and personal data protection in the (European) smart grids roll-out

Danger Smart Meters

picture by Environmental Illness Network (via Flickr; CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

On 21 October 2015 in Vienna, Austria, LSTS researchers Dr Niels van Dijk and Dariusz Kloza will give an opening lecture at the Cybersecurity Lecture Series 2015, organised by the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) and the Technische Universität Wien.

The lecture, titled “Seven deadly sins against privacy and personal data protection in the (European) smart grids roll-out“, will be based on a recently published book chapter by Dariusz Kloza, Niels van Dijk and Paul De Hert, printed as “Assessing the European Approach to Privacy and Data Protection in Smart Grids. Lessons for Emerging Technologies” in “Smart Grid Security. Innovative Solutions for a Modernized Grid“, edited by Florian Skopik and Paul Smith (Elsevier, 2015).

The authors argue that smart grids offer novel means of energy governance and promise an adequate response to environmental, societal and technical developments of the 21st century. Yet, at the same time, they are capable of invading the sacrosanctity of the most privacy-sensitive place – the home. This lecture will sketch several societal challenges that smart grids pose and amongst these the threat of abusive surveillance practices. It will next overview and critically assess the “light” regulatory approach that the European Union (EU) has taken as a response thereto. By pointing out the seven major drawbacks of this “light” approach, it will argue that its core element, i.e. a data protection impact assessment (DPIA) framework, is rather a missed opportunity. In conclusion, impact assessments of emerging technologies must be inclusive, easy to use and flexible, satisfying certain quality criteria.

More information as well as the registration form can be found here.

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