Tag Archives: epinet

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.


The Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities (SVT) at the University of Bergen (UiB), Norway, will host a mini-seminar on impact assessments between law and regulation on Monday, 15 June 2015.

victorian risk assessment cartoon

picture by johnbullas (@flickr)

This mini-seminar will deal with new uses of impact assessments, for instance dealing with risks to rights and freedoms posed by new digital technologies. It will pose the question of who should get to perform such assessments, drawing upon whose expertise, and how interdisciplinary teams should come together in the making of assessments of future risks. It especially targetes the domains between law and regulatory activities, and asks whether the two are increasingly becoming conflated. The mini-seminar will proceed by brief presentations followed by questions and discussions.

The presentations will draw upon the recently finished EPINET project (Integrated Assessment of Societal Impacts of Emerging Science and Technology from within Epistemic Networks; 2012-2015), of which Kjetil Rommetveit was the lead investigator, and VUB-LSTS researcher Dariusz Kloza’s recently co-authored book on Smart Grid Security.


13:00 – 13:15: Introduction
13:15 – 14:00: Dariusz Kloza (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, VUB): Doing impact assessments in H2020 research projects
14:15 – 15:00: Kjetil Rommetveit (SVT) and Dariusz Kloza (VUB): Data protection impact assessments and the EU’s Better Regulations Package

Further information: