The past month has involved a bit more travelling to various conferences and workshops. It started in Leeds at a workshop on electronic monitoring on 6th April. This is part of the Tracking People Seminar Series, with this one focusing on ethical and legal debates. Personal highlights for me were talks by Mike Nellis discussing both technical and criminological dimensions of electronic tagging, and Michael Nagenborg, giving a philosophical discussion of the ethical aspects of tracking. It was nice to catch up with Michael again, as I’ll be participating in the ICT and the City stream he co-chairs at ETHICOMP 2017 in Turin next month, presenting the paper called “Ethical Dimensions of User Centric Regulation” (more on this in due course).
After the Easter break, I went to the main UK IT law event, BILETA 2017, which had gone on a sunny excursion this year to Universidade do Minho, Braga, Portugal. I was presenting a paper written with CDT student Neelima Sailaja and Horizon Director Derek McAuley on legal, commercial and technical challenges around realising the new EU Right to Data Portability in practice. This involved discussion around the legal importance of personal information management systems, like the Databox project, in realising the right.
Hosted at the Escola de Direito, it was 2 packed days of parallel sessions on fake news, algorithmic governance, post-mortem privacy, IP, living in smart cities, biometric criminal identification, and cybercrime. There were very enjoyable keynotes from Burkhard Schafer (hello again, viva examiner!) on law and algorithms, former Spanish Data Protection commissioner Jose-Luis Pinar on GDPR and Joe Cannatacii about his work as UN Special Rapporteur on Privacy. As an aside, the conference dinner had all the Portuguese ingredients of Bacalhau, Vinho Verde and Fado! Next year it will be in slightly colder Aberdeen, but will seek to combine the unusual mix of privacy, Haggis and a Ceilidh…
After BILETA I flew over to the Netherlands for a week-long interdisciplinary workshop called Privacy by Design Beyond the Screen hosted at the Lorentz Centre in Leiden. This was an intensive event bringing together invited specialists on Privacy by Design from many backgrounds to discuss all aspects of the concept from theoretical framings to practicalities of doing PbD in practice. Kindly organised by Bert-Jaap Koops, Tjerk Timan and Jaap-Henk Hoepman in the Lorentz’s hospitable space (they invite proposals to host and fund workshops if you’re interested), the workshop involved a mix of presentations, group discussions and break-out sessions. I presented my PhD research on the concept of user-centric regulation, and over the course of 5 days, we discussed the pros and cons of many different ways of conceptualising PbD from more legalistic discussions around what notion of privacy is appropriate to design frameworks like value sensitive design and requirements engineering.
We also had some interesting discussions about the differences between PbD as a process and a product, with insights from product design too. As part of group work, we looked in depth at privacy implications of augmented reality glasses used by police officers to attend domestic violence cases. We have a lot of material to sift through but hopefully, a few short papers should emerge in due course!