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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.

Agenda

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: http://www.uib.no/en/svt/89368/impact-assessments-between-law-and-regulation

picture by verbeeldingskr8 (@flickr)

On Wednesday 14 August 2013 two LSTS researchers, Dariusz Kloza and Gertjan Boulet, will give a talk on privacy at the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) in Bangalore, India. The Centre for Internet and Society is a non-profit research organization that works on policy issues relating to freedom of expression, privacy, accessibility for persons with disabilities, access to knowledge and IPR reform, and openness (including open government data, free/open source software, open standards, open access to scholarly literature, open educational resources, and open video), and engages in academic research on digital natives and digital humanities.

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by opensourceway (@flickr)

The PIAF project has come to an end. Since January 2011, for 22 months, the consortium comprising Vrije Universiteit Brussel – Research Group on Law, Science, Technology & Society (VUB-LSTS)Trilateral Research & Consulting LLP and Privacy International has conducted research on privacy impact assessment for the European Commission’s Directorate-General Justice.

On the occasion of publication of the final deliverable on the recommendations for a PIA policy for the EU (December 2012), edited by Paul De Hert, Dariusz Kloza and David Wright, the consortium has issued the following press release:

PIAF consortium releases final report:
Privacy impact assessments should be mandatory and engage stakeholders

Press release
19 Dec 2012

Privacy impact assessments should be mandatory and must engage stakeholders in the process, says a consortium in its final report to the European Commission after a multi-country research project.

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The PIAF Project consortium, comprising the Vrije Universiteit Brussel – Research Group on Law, Science, Technology & Society (VUB-LSTS)Trilateral Research & Consulting LLP and Privacy International, for the recent 22 months has been conducting research on privacy impact assessment (PIA).

The project comes to an end in October 2012. Having held its final conference in September 2012 in Brussels, the members of the consortium will now present the final research results and will seek feedback on the 34th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners as well as on one of the side-events, i.e. the 2012 Public Voice Meeting, both held in Punta del Este, Uruguay on 22-24 October 2012.

Among the consortium members, David Wright (Trilateral) will talk on a panel titled Exploring lines of work: research and projects and Gus Hosein (Privacy International) – on a panel on biometrics.

Both Gus Hosein and Dariusz Kloza (VUB-LSTS) will also talk on the Public Voice meeting. Gus will be a panelist on the Emerging Trends in the Internet Global Village: Cross Cultural Views of Privacy, Freedom of Expression and Human Rights on Data Collection, Retention and Use, and Darek – on the Civil Society’s Challenge in Preserving Civic Participation.

The full agendas of both events are available here and here, respectively.

privacy by Sean MacEntee (flickr.com)

Vrije Universiteit Brussel – Research Group on Law, Science, Technology & Society (VUB-LSTS), Trilateral Research & Consulting LLP and Privacy International have been conducting research on PIA for the European Commission’s Directorate-General Justice. Our project is called PIAF: A Privacy Impact Assessment Framework for Data Protection and Privacy Rights. You can find more details on http://www.piafproject.eu.

The goal of our workshops for national data protection authorities and selected policy-makers is to share the findings and conclusions of our research. The first workshop took place in Brussels on 12 October 2011 and was devoted to mapping the best elements of existing PIA frameworks. The second workshop took place in Sopot, Poland on 24 April 2012 and focused on the empirical research on contextual factors affecting the introduction of PIA frameworks in EU Member States, gathered as a result of a questionnaire survey of data protection authorities in the EU.

The final conference will take place in Brussels on Thursday, 27 September 2012, from 09:00 till 13:00. Please find the draft agenda attached. The workshop materials will be circulated in a digital form up to one week in advance. Please also note that the views and opinions expressed in this workshop are solely those of the authors.

Participation is free of charge. Due to a limited number of places, please register by sending an e-mail to Dariusz Kloza (VUB-LSTS) at dariusz.kloza@vub.ac.be before Friday, 21 September 2012.

privacy

privacy by Alan Cleaver (@flickr)

Vrije Universiteit BrusselResearch Group on Law, Science, Technology & Society (VUB-LSTS), Trilateral Research & Consulting LLP and Privacy International are currently conducting research on privacy impact assessment (PIA). Our project, undertaken in the framework of the action grants of the EU’s Fundamental Rights & Citizenship Programme, is called PIAF: A Privacy Impact Assessment Framework for Data Protection and Privacy Rights.

Among the most important elements of our project are two workshops aimed at national data protection authorities and selected policy-makers. The goal of these workshops is to provide a briefing on the project deliverables and their key findings, seek feedback on work and discuss the next steps. The first workshop took place in Brussels on 12 October 2011 and was devoted to mapping the best elements of existing PIA frameworks. The second workshop will focus on the empirical research on contextual factors affecting the introduction of PIA frameworks in EU Member States, gathered as a result of a questionnaire survey of data protection authorities in the EU.

The second workshop will take place in Sopot, Poland on Tuesday, 24 April 2012, from 14:00 till 17:30. Please find the draft agenda here.