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The Call for Papers for the fifth annual London Conference in Critical Thought (LCCT), to be hosted by the Birkbeck Department of Law on 24 and 25 June 2016, has now been published. The Conference is composed of different thematic streams, such as ‘Data as Things: Dis/assembling the Stuff of Data and Data’s Coming to Matter’, jointly organised by Claudia Aradau, Rocco Bellanova and Gloria González Fuster and inviting participants to apprehend data as an object of inquiry and a matter of concern. Submissions should be received by the 28th March 2016. More information can be found at the LCCT2016 website and in the LCCT2016 Call for Papers.
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An international study examining the obstacles faced by citizens in accessing their personal data has found serial malpractice and obfuscation on the part of public and private sector organisations when citizens seek clarification of what these organisations know about them. The study was led by the University of Sheffield and investigated 327 organisations in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Slovakia, Spain and the United Kingdom. It forms part of the IRISS (Increasing Resilience in Surveillance Societies) project, funded by the European Union. It documents the actual experience citizens have when trying to use the law to access their data.
European and national laws give citizens the right to know how their personal data is used, shared and processed by private and public sector organisations. The study, encompassing citizen interactions with 327 sites, found that what should have been a straightforward process was complex, confusing, frustrating and, in the end, largely unsuccessful. The research sites were chosen based on a consideration of the socio-economic domains in which citizens encounter surveillance on a systematic basis: health, transport, employment, education, finance, leisure, communication, consumerism, civic engagement, and security and criminal justice. The study’s executive summary, policy brief, meta-analyses and individual country reports can all be accessed here.
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LSTS researcher Rosamunde van Brakel has been invited to speak at a workshop on ‘Critical Explorations of Data and Security’ organised by Torin Monahan (UNC Chapel Hill) and Priscilla M. Regan (George Mason University) which will take place November 15-16, 2013 at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Rosamunde will give a presentation about the social, ethical and legal issues raised by preemptive surveillance.