Civic Democracy Watch, a joint initiative by a group of Polish NGOs dedicated to protecting human rights, the rule of law and transparency in Poland has been officially launched.
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In October 2015 we published a report on “Profiling the Unemployed in Poland: Social and Political Implications of Algorithmic Decision Making”.
European Digital Rights (EDRi), Foundation for Information Policy Research (fipr) and Panoptykon Foundation provided comments on selected key elements to the Law Enforcement Data Protection Directive. In the analysis, we focus on the most problematic points of the Directive regarding: transferring data to third countries, sharing data for law enforcement purposes and the risk of violating human rights.
Panoptykon Foundation have received the Open Society Foundations, the Ford Foundation, and the Media Democracy Fund’s grant for investigation of the implications of algorithmically driven categorization and resource distribution to Poland’s 1.8 million unemployed citizens.
Glenn Carle (Former Deputy National Intelligence Officerfor Transnational Threats at the CIA), Katarzyna Szymielewicz (President of the Panoptykon Foundation) and Robert Pritchard (Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute and Founder of The Cyber Security Expert) comment on US debates on private and state internet surveillance.
Sharing information is less and less our free choice. The society requires high visibility: those, who don't expose themselves become suspicious or excluded. But sharing is just the beginning. The real purpose behind it is profiling. Be that our insurance or health care scheme, unemployment benefit or school curriculum – more and more services depend not so much on who we are in reality, but on the quality of our digital profile. Who designs these algorithms? What business and political stakes are behind? Katarzyna Szymielewicz comments on contents of our digital profiles and its implications.
EDRi, Panoptykon Foundation and Access expressed their concern regarding the proposed Directive on EU Passenger Name Record. In current form, the proposal poses the risk of discrimination e.g. on religious grounds. Moreover, the proposal will bring significant costs to Member states. And all these with lack of evidence that such measures are effective in prevention of serious crimes.
Anna Buchta (EDPS), Gwendal Le Grand (CNIL), Paul Nemitz (European Commission), Katarzyna Szymielewicz (Panoptykon Foundation) and James Leaton-Grey (BBC) discuss CJEU Google Spain and UPC Telekabel decisions and their implementation implications for rights to privacy and freedom to expression in Europe, as well as safeguards, processes and mechanism to protect human rights online.
"All indications are that the attack on the editorial offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo will provide a pretext for the introduction of further limits on our civil liberties - a new order the victims of which are unlikely to be terrorists … Independent analyses confirm that data inflation and the growing use of algorithms in intelligence work do not improve the effectiveness of threat detection.
There seems to be little overlap between “open government” and “surveillance state”. Public security –the most quoted justification behind surveillance – is routinely presented as the exemption from the expectation of state transparency. While we have seen significant developments towards more openness in such sensitive areas as public procurement, health management or IT infrastructure, when it comes to “our security” all rational arguments seem to fail.