Author Archives: rvbrakel

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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routledgeThe edited volume Histories of State Surveillance in Europe and Beyond which is co-edited by LSTS researcher Rosamunde van Brakel is out now with Routledge! The volume includes chapters by LSTS researchers Rosamunde van Brakel on ‘The emergence of identity cards in Belgium and its colonies’ and Lucas Melgaço on ‘Brazilian universities under surveillance: Information control during the Military Dictatorship (1964-1985)’. Table of contents and more information about the book and how to order can be found here

surveillanceWith all the focus on an ever expanding array of high-tech and “big data” based forms of surveillance it is easy to forget that traditional forms of covert surveillance and human intelligence gathering remain challenged and can be as privacy-invasive. Recent exposés of undercover policing in Britain and the USA and corporate espionage against NGOs and activists in Europe clearly illustrate this. Furthermore, toward the latter part of the 20th century citizens in Europe and the US are increasingly responsibilised for their own security and outsourced by police for surveillance through neighbourhood watch schemes, if you see something report it campaigns, not to mention traditional vigilante groups and police informers. Roles between public and private, citizens and police are becoming increasingly blurred. The panel will discuss new developments in these policing practices and explore some of  the social, ethical and legal issues that accompany them.

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book coverOn Wednesday evening 23 January 2013 Professor David Lyon (Director of the Surveillance Studies Centre, Queens University, Canada) will present his new book Liquid Surveillance: A Conversation, which he co-authored with Zygmunt Bauman (Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University of Leeds, United Kingdom).

The presentation will be followed by a lively roundtable discussion moderated by William Webster, University of Stirling (UK) with the following panellists: Ann Rudinow Sætnan, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NO), Didier Bigo, King’s College London (UK) and Kristin Veel, University of Copenhagen (DK).

This event is scheduled in the context of the CPDP 2013 International Conference and organised by VUB-LSTS and LISS (Living in Surveillance Societies)-COST Action in cooperation with Polity Press, deBuren & De Markten.

Where? De Markten, Oude Graanmarkt 5 Rue du Vieux Marché aux Grains, 1000 Brussels.

When? 23 January 2013 at 20h (drinks at 19.30).

For more information and registration please have a look here.

LSTS researchers Antonella Galetta & Rosamunde van Brakel are both giving presentations at the SMART Policy workshop ‘Surveilling Surveillance‘ in Florence this Wednesday 26 September 2012. Antonella will discuss the relation between surveilance technologies and the presumption of innocence, and Rosamunde will examine the ethical and social consequences of behaviour detecting smart video surveillance systems as crime prevention tools. For more information and the full programme click here.

LSTS researchers Katja De Vries & Rosamunde Van Brakel are both presenting at the COST-LiSS WG2 meeting/conference in Sassari, Sardinia on 27 July 2012. Katja will give a presentation on: “Some are more equal than others: Thinking difference and indifference produced through automated, algorithmic profiling” and Rosamunde will talk about “Pre-emptive surveillance of children in the UK: The Ryogens database“. More information can be found here.