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.
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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.
Every year more and more public money is invested in surveillance technologies – everything from drones and video surveillance to data mining software for public administration. Recently, the Polish government announced a new programme of co-financing surveillance cameras in the schools.
Our data shadows and digital dandruff can be used to track and record our activities online. Even if there is nothing to hide, this can become problematic. Katarzyna Szymielewicz discuss these problems with Jeremy Malcolm (Electronic Frontiers Foundation), Joana Varon (Centre for Technology and Society in Rio de Janeiro), Niels ten Oever (Article 19) and Harry Halpin (World Wide Web Consortium - W3C).
Since the first stories revealing the extent of mass surveillance appeared in the Guardian in June 2013, the Snowden files have helped to shine a light on the government agencies who monitor the online activity of their citizens and the companies who collect their customers’ personal data. Julia Powles (University of Cambridge), Mike Harris (Don’t Spy On Us), Josh Levy (Access Now) and Katarzyna Szymielewicz (Panoptykon Foundation) in a panel chaired by James Ball (The Guardian) explore who owns our data, how to take control of our online lives and ask what is the future of our personal data.
On 11 September 2014 digital right activists and advocates around the world commemorated the anniversary of 9/11 terrorist attacks on the WTC as the Freedom not Fear Day.
Between 15th-19th of September, in the week leading up the first year anniversary of the 13 Necessary and Proportionate Principles, Panoptykon Foundation and the coalition behind the 13 Principles will be conducting a week of action explaining some of the 13 guiding principles for surveillance law reform. Every day, we'll take on a different part of the principles, exploring what’s at stake and what we need to do to bring intelligence agencies and the police back under the rule of law.