Registrations are now open for the 2017 edition of the Privacy Camp, an annual civil society bringing together digital rights advocates, members of NGOs, civil rights groups as well as academics and policy-makers from all around Europe and beyond to discuss the most pressing issues facing human rights online. The 2017 edition will take place under the title ‘Controlling Data, Controlling Machines: Dangers and Solutions‘, and will take place on 24 January 2017 at  Université Saint-Louis, in Brussels. Privacy Camp is jointly organised by EDRi, Privacy Salon vzw, USL-B and VUB-LSTS. Follow this link to register.

screen-shot-2016-10-03-at-09-31-16On Thursday 13 October 2016 Katja De Vries will publicly defend her PhD thesis ‘Machine learning/Informational fundamental rights: Makings of sameness and difference’. The event will start  at 17:00 in auditorium E.0.04 (VUB Etterbeek Campus). If you wish to attend, please inform Please note also that on the same day, and not far away from there, will take place the ANYWARE’ Interdisciplinary Seminar, for which registration is now closed.


LSTS is organising the FWO Interdisciplinary Seminar ‘ANYWARE’ on 13 October 2016, from 11.30-16.30, at ICAB, in Brussels. The event is chaired and organized by Mireille Hildebrandt (VUB, Radboud University) and will bring together leading and inconspicuous scholars and scientists on the nexus of machine learning, digital security, philosophy, STS and law, to forage the field where location data, machine learning and privacy meet.

Speakers include Solon Barocas (Princeton University, Microsoft Research), Judith Simon (ITU Copenhagen, University Vienna), Jean Paul Van Bendegem (VUB), Gloria González Fuster (VUB), Seda Guerses (Princeton University, KULeuven), Jaap-Henk Hoepman (Radboud University Nijmegen), Lydia Nicholas (NESTA, UK), Arjen de Vries (Radboud University Nijmegen, TBC), Alison Powell (London School of Economics) and Irina Shklovski (IT University Copenhagen).

Under the title ‘Privacy and location data in the era of machine learning‘, the seminar will discuss how people, things, their behaviour and their state of being and becoming is increasingly captured anywhere and anytime by a plethora of sensor systems, online tracking mechanisms and providers of mobile hardware, firmware, browsers, and applications. We have come to live in an ‘anyware’ that connects any ‘ware’ with any ‘thing’ to infer potentially interesting patterns to e.g. solve problems, or detect inclinations, earning capacity or health risks. The speakers will explore (and if possible specify) the difference that makes a difference when it comes to ML on location data, indicating when, how and why privacy may be infringed. It builds on the interdisciplinary FWO funded research project on ‘Contextual integrity and the proliferation of location data’ (see related publications here and there). UPDATE: Registration is no longer possible.


6 september 2016: De Privacyrede.

Mireille Hildebrandt voorspelt dat ‘het’ onderwijs binnen vijf jaar radicaal zal veranderen. We hebben nu een systeem waarin de persoonlijke verhouding tussen leerlingen en docent centraal staat en de inhoud van over te dragen kennis. We gaan naar een datagestuurde leeromgeving waarin de meeste beslissingen worden genomen door al dan niet ‘lerende’ computersystemen. Die systemen worden gevoed met de meetbare prestaties en gedragsdata van studenten en docenten. Sommigen zien in deze mutatie het voorportaal van een nieuw paradijs, anderen ontwaren de contouren van de poort naar de hel. In deze rede geeft Hildebrandt aan hoe we hemel en hel kunnen vermijden door de komst van de datagestuurde leeromgeving onder ogen te zien en door op cruciale punten goed doordachte keuzes te maken.

Zie de geschreven versie: Datagedreven Onderwijs: Wijs of Onwijs?

En de live opname: Wijs of Onwijs: Datagedreven Onderwijs

See also her Edinburgh keynote at the Annual Conference of the Learning Analytics and Knowledge Society (LAK2016).

arcades_handbook_cover_smallUnder the framework of the ARCADES research project, for the past 18 months, three European data protection authorities (DPAs) – from Poland, Hungary and Slovenia – as well as the Research Group on Law, Science, Technology & Society (LSTS) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) have looked for best practices in teaching privacy and personal data protection at schools. This common endeavour has resulted in a series of academic reports and articles, three seminars for teachers, three national contests for the best lesson plan and a final conference in Barcelona. The most recent deed, ‘The European Handbook for Teaching Privacy and Data Protection at Schools’, edited by Prof. Dr. Gloria González Fuster (VUB-LSTS) and Dariusz Kloza, LLM (VUB-LSTS & PRIO), was released in July 2016 in four linguistic versions: English, Polish, Hungarian and Slovenian.

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Schermafbeelding 2016-06-28 om 06.46.49

On 28th June 2016 Mireille Hildebrandt will speak at contemporary art centre Wiels on her recent book ‘Smart Technologies and the End(s) of Law. Novel Entanglements of Law and Technology’ (the paperback just came out with Edward Elgar). The lecture will discuss the implications of the ‘new digital unconscious’ that forms the playground for both cowboys and spies, rummaging through our secrets and trivialities to feed into new business models or to detect the patterns of predictable dangers.

BTW check out the exhibition of Simon Denny on the cusp of art, politics and silicon mountains.

Snowden          Loesje geheim



picture by oskay (@flickr)

The VUB Food Forum, in cooperation with VUB’s Institute of European Studies (IES), is organising on 19 April 2016 a policy forum on ‘New Novel Food‘. In December 2015, the Union legislator adopted Regulation (EU) 2015/2283, thereby reforming the legal framework for novel foods marketed in Europe. Until 2018, the Regulation will entirely replace its 1997 predecessor Regulation. It re-defines novel food and introduces a centralised EU authorisation system with the aim of simplification, promoting new technologies and providing greater legal certainty. European citizens should have a broader choice of food, and Regulation (EU) 2015/2283 is meant to make that easier. The policy forum starts at 12:00 and will end at approximately 14:30. Participation is free of charge and open to all and there will be a sandwich lunch. To register, please visit this page.