Tag Archives: Informed consent

Convention 108: from a European reality to a global treaty

countic_of_EuropeThe International Conference held in Strasbourg on 17 June 2016 gathered over a hundred participants, from more than 60 countries, to notably welcome the accession of Mauritius to Convention 108.

Mauritius will become the 49th country to join the Convention. Other will follow soon and the unique forum of exchange and cooperation offered by the Committee of the Convention will continue to expand, and gather more and more countries from all regions of the world.

You missed the event ? Regrettable indeed,  but here are some of the highlights of the day :

  • Relying on the importance of the Convention, Giovanni Buttarelli, European Data Protection Supervisor, encouraged to “make Convention 108 principles digital and not to water them down”
  • Karolina Mojzesowicz from the European Commission recalled that “Convention was the source, the mother of the European EU data protection rules” and that it “was and will remain the key compass in the European and global privacy legal landscape”
  • Graham Greenleaf from UNSW Australia spotted the visual spread of Convention 108 : out of the 110 countries in the world with data protection laws, nearly half of them are already members of Convention 108!
  • Marc Rotenberg from EPIC recalled how his organization has been calling for the US accession to the Convention and how as part of the 2016 political campaign, it called on people running for public office in the US to support accession as a “common framework, based on law and fundamental rights, is an absolutely essential requirement for our digital age”
  • Joseph Cannataci, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to Privacy, recalled that the “Council of Europe spent more than 25 years providing a lead”. So much of a lead that the European Union took it on.

Finally, the Conference also witnessed the deposit of the ratification instrument of Mauritius by Drudeisha Madhub, Privacy Commissioner and the signature of a cooperation agreement between the Data Protection Authorities of Belgium and Tunisia.

Presentations and speeches:

EDPS civil society summit

The EDPS (European Data Protection Supervisor) met with civil society organisations to discuss the state of data protection and privacy in the EU. On the agenda this year was the implementation of the GDPR and the directive on data protection rules for the police and criminal justice, the review of the ePrivacy Directive, and developments in case law in the last 12 months, notably Schrems v. Data Protection Commissioner and the proposed Privacy Shield agreement.

The meeting took place at the EDPS premises in Brussels from 9.30am-12.30pm. If you have any questions, please write to us at edps@edps.europa.eu with ‘2016 EDPS- Civil Society Summit’ in the subject line, and we will send you further details about the event. The videos of the event are available here.

Follow #EDPSCivSoc2016 and stay tuned!

The programme of the meeting is available here.

The slides of the presentations that were given are linked below:

Implementation of GDPR: consistency, flexibility, guidelines, presentation by Anna Fielder, Privacy International

The e-Privacy Directive: what’s at stake?, presentation by Prof. Ian Brown, University of Oxford

Necessity and proportionality, presentation by Ralf Bendrath, German Working Group on Data Retention and Digitale Gesellschaft

EDRi analysis on the most dangerous flexibilities allowed by the General Data Protection Regulation

E-Privacy revision: an analysis from civil society groups

EuroDIG 2016

EuroDIG2016From June 8th to 10th we attended EuroDIG 2016, the annual Pan-European Dialogue on Internet Governance conference that was held in Brussels this year.

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EuroDIG 2016

The Pan-European dialogue on Internet governance (EuroDIG) is an open platform for informal and inclusive discussions on public policy issues related to Internet Governance (IG). 

Exchanging views and best practices

The European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG) is an open multi-stakeholder platform to exchange views about the Internet and how it is governed. Created in 2008 by several organisations, government representatives and experts, it fosters dialogue and collaboration with the Internet community on public policy for the Internet. Culminating in an annual conference that takes place in a different capital city, EuroDIG ‘messages’ are prepared and presented to the UN-led Internet Governance Forum.

EuroDIG is supported by a group of institutional partners, namely the Council of Europe, the European Commission, the European Regional At-Large Organization (EURALO), the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the Internet Society (ISOC), the Federal Office of Communications of Switzerland (OFCOM) and the Ré- seaux IP Européens Network Coordination Centre (RIPE NCC).

The main aim of EuroDIG is to promote the engagement of Europeans in multistakeholder dialogue in order to share their expertise and best practice and, where possible, identify common ground. This enables EuroDIG to pull together national perspectives and to apply and shape European values and views regarding the Internet.

The programme overview is available here.

UnBias at DASTS16 Interpellating Futures

DASTS16On June 2nd and June 3rd the biennale Danish conference on STS (DASTS16) was held at Aarhus, Denmark. The tagline for the conference was the “quintessential anti-determinist and anti-essentialist mantra of STS ‘It could have been different'”.

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#DASTS16 Interpellating Future(s), the biennale Danish conference on STS

“It could have been different” is the quintessential anti-determinist and anti-essentialist mantra of STS. This mantra is a simultaneous reflection on being and becoming, a concern with the past, present and the future. It is a mantra that implicates a care of the possible.

The concern with future(s) is unprecedented and ranges across all scales. Climate change; financial technologies – ‘futures’ – allowing investment on presumptions; and gene tests for diagnosing (the probability) of ailments to appear later in life, are but a few evident examples. Predicting, forecasting, foresighting future(s) is an inextricable part of the present and the role of science and technology in the production as well as the anticipation of the future(s), is paramount. Arguably for the first time in centuries the future looks gloomy, rather than bright.

A concern with future(s) is central to the field of STS. When future(s) are made – not given – as suggested above, how they are made becomes a central and painstaking concern. What constitutes the practices and sociotechnical arrangements of future making? What future(s) follows from our current arrangements, infrastructures and ways of engaging? What diagnosis of the present – what nature(s) – does specific future making practices rest upon? And when future(s) are not entirely up to us and escapes us continuously, how are we disposed? The DASTS 2016 conference committee invites the Danish STS research milieu to engage with the practices of future(s) and future making.

The conference committee invites participants, paper abstracts and track proposals concerned with, but not limited to, future(s). The spirit of the conference is as always inclusive and exploratory. The conference welcomes contributions from scholars at all academic levels that consider themselves affiliated with STS to share and discuss their work. DASTS 2016 is a biennial conference of the Danish Association for Science, Technology and Society Studies.

Thursday the 2nd

9:00-10:00 Registration
10:00-11:00 Keynote by Isabelle Stengers
11:00-12:30 Parallel sessions
Publics, politics and participation – Part I – Room 091
Introducing STS and social work – Part I – Room 184
Technologies of the self – Part I – Room 192
12:30-13:30 Lunch
13:30-14:30 DASTS General Assembly
14:30-14:45 Tea & Coffee
14:45-16:15 Parallel sessions
Fabricating STS – Room 091
Introducing STS and social work – Part II – Room 184
Technologies of the self – Part II – Room 192
17:00-19:00 Future Lecture by Bruno Latour (registration closed but livestreamed here)
19:30-? Conference dinner at FrüdNo16.

Friday the 3rd

9:30-10:30 Keynote by Nikolas Rose
10:30-12:00 Parallel sessions
Publics, politics and participation – Part II – Room 091
Dreams for the Future – Part I – Room 184
Exploring data driven governance assemblages – Part I – Room 192
12:00-13:00 Lunch
13:00-15:00 Parallel sessions
Research practices and knowledge creation – Room 091
Dreams for the Future – Part II – Room 184
Exploring data driven governance assemblages – Part II – Room 192
15:00-15:30 Tea & Coffee
15:30-16:59 Parallel sessions
Anticipation, Scenario Planning & STS – Room 091
Dreams for the Future – Part III – Room 184
Future Making – Room 192

Are Privacy Shield/Kitemarks the solution for transparent Terms & Conditions?

ICO-urges-firms-to-get-privacy-sealsAt the heart of current online consumer protection is the concept of informed consent where by the prospective consumer makes a conscious decision to sign up to a service with full knowledge and consent to the consequences of doing so. Even in the newly signed EU General Data Protection Regulation, which will go into effect in 2018, this will not fundamentally change. For anyone who has ever used a commercial internet service however, and this included policy makers, it is glaringly obvious that there is a fundamental flaw in this approach, namely the assumption that the consumer has a good understanding of the contract that is being entered into.

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‘Online platforms and the Digital Single Market’ report by the House of Lords EU Internal Market Sub-Committee

HoL_OnlinePlatformsThis week saw the publication of the report on ‘Online platforms and the Digital Single Market’ by the House of Lords EU Internal Market Sub-Committee. This reports presents the findings of the inquiry that was held from October 2015 till spring 2016, receiving 85 written responses and 20 oral evidence sessions. Included in the written responses were two from Horizon Digital Economy Research, one by Prof. Rodden and one by myself which we partially posted on this blog about in October 2015. The main driver for this inquiry was the publication in May 2015 by the European Commission (EC) of its ‘Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe’ (DSM), which drew attention to the growing role of online platforms as key players in social and economic interactions on the internet, and was followed on 24 September by the launch of an EC consultation ‘A fit for purpose regulatory environment for platforms and intermediaries’. For the purposes of both the EC consultation and the Lords’ inquiry online platforms were considered to ‘represent a broad category of digital businesses that provide a meeting place for two or more different groups of users over the Internet, examples of which include search engines, online marketplaces, the collaborative or sharing economy, and social networks’. What follows is an incomplete summary of the findings in the report, with a focus on the issues related to fundamental rights of platform users (e.g. privacy), the role of algorithms and user consent, which are most closely related to our work at CaSMa.

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Ethics of Using Hacked Data & Guidelines for Networked Systems Ethics

Ethics_of_hacked_data_use
Two items about research ethics today to balance out the many policy issues that we’ve been featuring on this blog recently.

The first items is an interesting case study by Nathaniel Poor and Roei Davidson about the ethics of using hacked data that feature on the Council for Big Data, Ethics, and Society blog.

The second items, is a recently published set of guidelines for Networked Systems Ethics that was published online by Ben Zevenbergen with input from host of people who participated at various ethics workshops organized by Ben.

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The Privatization of Human Rights: Illusions of Consent, Automation and Neutrality

CIGI_coverWhile exploring the Internet And Human Rights Resources Center at the Internet Society, I encountered a highly informative report from the Global Commission on Internet Governance (CIGI), which was published in January 2016, on the extent to which the management of individuals’ fundamental rights, e.g. privacy and free speech, is in the hands corporations.

The report presents an excellent overview of the various ways in which the dominance of a small set of companies that control the web platforms where most people spend the majority of their time online has produced a situation where these companies have become major actors in determining the state of human rights online.

Continue reading The Privatization of Human Rights: Illusions of Consent, Automation and Neutrality