#PrivacyCamp23: Critical. Digital. Crisis. | Call for Panels (Deadline extended)

The 11th edition of Privacy Camp invites to explore the criticality of our digital worlds. 

Invoking critical times often sounds like a rhetorical trick. And yet, this year, we have witnessed the beginning of both an energy and security crisis, caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In the meantime, the world is still dealing with a major health crisis, while increasingly acknowledging the urgency of the climate crisis. In fact, crises are situations where the relations in which we are entangled change, so that understanding and making an impact on how these relations change, and in favor of whom, becomes crucial.

Hence, these are some of the questions we want to ask. How do digital technologies feed into and foster the multiple crises we inhabit? What do we need to consider when approaching the digital as a critical resource that we should nurture, so to promote and protect rights and freedoms?

Our call for panels aims at fostering a conversation in which the criticality of digital technologies can be read in two ways (following the Oxford English Dictionary). On the one hand, the  critical as a situation having the potential to become disastrous. On the other hand, the critical as having a decisive or crucial importance in the success, failure, or existence of something. For instance, the critical nature of digital infrastructures rests on the importance of these infrastructures in all aspects of our lives: from public health to education, labour and services, from politics to intimate relations. At the same time, digital infrastructures and technologies become critically important in times of crises. 

While not all critical infrastructure is digital, much of the digital infrastructure is becoming critical.  For example, digital technologies can contribute to reinforcing geo-political tensions, because of extractivist approaches to rare raw materials mining and the reliance on external powers for critical infrastructure.

Our ability to deal with multiple crises as societies is also quite dependent on the way the digital public sphere functions and how EU regulation is enforced, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Digital Services Act. Ongoing debates about what kind of security European societies and institutions want to pursue contribute to shifting European and national authorities’ stance on what kinds of technologies law enforcement and migration control should rely on, and how these technologies should be governed. This is becoming particularly tangible in the approach to the regulation of border control technologies in the AI Act, increased powers and broader scope of the recent Europol’s mandate, as well as to the regulation of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) in the CSA Regulation.

If we are concerned with the future of rights, democracies and the planet, we are to remain critical of how both rights and digital infrastructures are organised and controlled, what role should the private sector have, or how all things digital impact our environment in terms of energy and ecology. This requires a broader conversation involving perspectives and approaches focusing on various rights, be they individual and collective, traditional or new.

In 2023, the Privacy Camp invites you to participate in, and foster, a discussion about the critical state(s) of our a world in which the digital is, itself, critical. What does it mean to regulate digital technologies and infrastructures in times of crises? Specifically, we invite submissions that answer the following questions:

  • How do digital rights look like during times of crises?
  • What is the long-term impact of border control digital technologies implemented during times of crises?
  • How does the crisis logic boosts extractivist approaches with regard to data, natural resources and social justice?
  • What is the link between crisis politics and the rise of securitisation narratives in EU digital policy-making?
  • How do we avoid a techno-solutionist approach to solving crises?
  • How do we sustain legal standards and the rule of law principles, (Is the GDPR in the middle of an (enforcement) crisis, and how to save it?

Submission guidelines:

  • Indicate a clear objective for your session, i.e. what would be a good outcome for you?
  • Include  a list of a maximum of 4 speakers that could participate in your panel.  Ensure you cover academia, civil society and decision–makers’  perspectives. Let us know which speaker(s) has/have already confirmed  participation, at least in principle.
  • Make it as interactive as possible and encourage audience participation.
  • Support diversity of voices among panelists and strive for multiple perspectives.
  • Note that the average panel length is 50 minutes.

To submit a proposal, please fill in this form by 20 November 2022, 23:59 CEST. (Deadline extended)

We will review submissions and will notify you about the outcome of the selection procedure before 1 December 2022. Please note that we might suggest combining panel proposals if they are similar or complement each other.

About Privacy Camp

Privacy Camp is jointly organised by European Digital Rights (EDRi), the Research Group on Law, Science, Technology & Society (LSTS) at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), the Institute for European Studies at Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles (IEE at USL-B), and Privacy Salon.

In 2023, Privacy Camp’s Content Committee are: Andreea Belu (EDRi), Gloria González Fuster (LSTS, VUB) and Rocco Bellanova (LSTS, VUB)

Privacy Camp 2023 will take place on 25 January 2023 in a hybrid format (in Brussels with online broadcast). Participation is free and registrations will open in December 2022.

For inquiries about the programme and/or to support the event organisation as a volunteer, please contact Andreea Belu at andreea.belu(at)edri(dot)org.

#PrivacyCamp22: Call for panels! (New deadline)

** UPDATE: The deadline is extended to 14 November 2021, 23:59 CEST.

Privacy Camp turns 10. It is time to celebrate. But Privacy Camp 2022 is also the occasion to reflect on a decade of digital activism, and to think together about the best ways to advance human rights in the digital age.

The 10th edition of Privacy Camp invites for a forward-looking retrospective on the last decade of digital rights. This edition aims at building on the lessons of the past and at collectively articulating strategic ways forward for the advancement of human rights in the digital society.

Emerging intersections within the realms of regulating digitalisation as well as within other broader social justice movements point that – while some issues remain timeless – the power struggles ahead might happen on new terrain(s).

How can we adapt to these new terrains, while drawing on a decade’s worth of lessons? How can we organise with broader groups of people and other communities? What are the points of reflection we must focus on, to address the wider impact of the digital rights’ fight?

Concretely, we want to explore ideas for (1) putting rights at the centre of digital policies, and (2) bringing marginalised perspectives to the core of digital rights discussions. In this spirit, we call for solution-oriented panel proposals around the following themes:

1. Putting rights at the centre of digital policies

Too often, rights are an after-thought of digital policies. In the past decade we have seen again and again decision-makers decide first, and think about the impact on digital rights later. How can this be changed, to have future policy decisions getting rights right from the start, notably in relation to automated decision-making, the platform economy, data protection and privacy of communications, and the surveillance infrastructure?

Notably, we invite proposals tackling questions such as the below:

  • What can we learn from national and EU debates around digital rights, that will be relevant for current and upcoming challenges?
  • At EU level, has there been an evolution in terms of better integration of fundamental rights concerns into policy-making and socio-technical design?
  • Has the changing role of EU institutions in relation to fundamental rights affected their approach to digital policy? Does it depend on the EU institution?
  • Halfway through its term, how is the European Commission standing in terms of digital rights and policies?
  • How do debates about EU digital policies intersect with the power of Big Tech and national states?
  • How to make sure that rights remain a central priority when legal instruments have been adopted and what is needed is to guarantee their effective enforcement (e.g. GDPR enforcement)?

2. Bringing marginalised perspectives at the core of digital rights discussions

The digital rights agenda was never neutral. It has been shaped over the years by a predominantly reactive approach to digital policy debates. Importantly, it also has its own dynamics dependent on a rather specific set of priorities. This means that some perspectives on digital rights, notably those coming from the point of view of marginalised people and communities, have been themselves marginalised. What are the voices and issues that have been left out, heard less, or simply not amplified enough?

Notably, we invite proposals tackling questions such as the below:

  • How have digital rights strategies and approaches suffered from a limited perspective in the past?
  • How can the digital rights community better centre the voices of people disproportionately affected by exploitative digitalisation, such as women, LGBTQI+ communities, racialised communities and people from the global south, people with disabilities, working-class people?
  • What are the lessons learnt from creating broader coalitions with other actors such as workers’ unions, groups advocating for women rights, LGBTQI+ rights, anti-racism movements, or migrants’ rights defenders?
  • What can we learn from how marginalised groups have been affected by digitalisation, and what effects have legal frameworks had to counter this disproportionate impact?
  • How can we make sure that when we put rights at the centre of digital policies the concerns of marginalised people are given the necessary space?
  • How might the digital rights field incorporate transformative justice and decolonial perspectives into its work?

Deadline for panel proposal submissions: 7 November 2021

Background

The past decade brought the increased digitalisation of all aspects of our life. This process has led to a growing production of data in digital formats, be they personal or non-personal data, data related to content or metadata, and often sensitive data because of their nature or because of how they are processed.

In this context, corporate and government entities have gained unprecedented power. Internet services and digital technologies have developed in often inadequate and insufficient regulatory frameworks. As a result, many have been excluded from the benefits of the digitalisation process.

In the realm of the internet, but also beyond it, our societies have seen the rise and normalisation of government mass surveillance and surveillance capitalism, with Big Tech power grabbing from all areas of public life including public services. Connected to this trend, public and political debates have often been centred around securitisation arguments, and policy-making focused on counter-terrorism measures, and border and migration surveillance.

Against this tide, civil society, along with academia and some policymakers have worked together to curtail the harms of data exploitation and promote regulatory frameworks that put human rights at their centre.

In the past 10 years, Privacy Camp has become a forum that facilitates discussion and debates, and that offers occasion to coordinate and strategize better. It has foregrounded issues concerning EU data protection law, online content regulation and platforms’ power, the confidentiality of communications and the regulation of emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), among others.

In 2020 and 2021, the public debate has been dominated by the impact of harmful online content, the rise of biometrics mass surveillance and, once again, the fake dichotomy between rights and security. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted our society’s dependence on digital technologies and on the actors that control them, as well as the role of individuals in facilitating or preventing access to data. It thus pushed legislators to focus on the need to further regulate digitalisation, and even re-ignited their aspirations to achieve a so-called ‘digital sovereignty’, of unclear contours.

The digital rights field composition, organisational practices and methods, however, have often left the people most affected by harmful uses of technologies outside of policy, advocacy or litigation work. This has resulted in siloed approaches to human rights in the digital age, or to overlooking the impact of digital infrastructure on marginalised groups and the planet itself.

With this edition of the Privacy Camp, we want to move beyond empty calls to put ‘the (undefined) human at the centre’ into a genuine taking into account of digital rights.

Submission guidelines:

  • Indicate a clear objective for your session, i.e. what would be a good outcome for you?
  • Include a list of a maximum of 4 speakers that could participate in your panel. Ensure you cover academia, civil society and decision–makers’ perspectives. Let us know which speaker(s) has/have already confirmed participation, at least in principle.
  • Make it as interactive as possible and encourage audience participation.
  • Support diversity of voices among panelists and strive for multiple perspectives.
  • Note that the average panel length is 50 minutes.

To submit a proposal, fill in this form by 14 November 2021, 23:59 CEST.

After the deadline, we will review your submissions and will notify you about the outcome of the selection procedure before 29 November. Please note that we might suggest merging panel proposals if they are similar or complement each other.

About Privacy Camp

Privacy Camp is jointly organised by European Digital Rights (EDRi), Research Group on Law, Science, Technology & Society (LSTS) at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), the Institute for European Studies at Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles (IEE at USL-B), and Privacy Salon.

In 2022, Privacy Camp’s Content Committee are: Andreea Belu (EDRi), Gloria González Fuster (LSTS, VUB) and Rocco Bellanova (IEE, USL-B)

Privacy Camp 2022 will take place on 25 January 2022 online.

Participation is free and registrations will open in December 2021.

For inquiries, please contact Andreea Belu at andreea.belu(at)edri(dot)org.

#PrivacyCamp21: Event Summary

The theme of the 9th edition of Privacy Camp was “Digital rights for change: Reclaiming infrastructures, repairing the future” and included thirteen sessions on a variety of topics. The event was attended by 250 people. If you missed the event or want a reminder of what happened in the session, find the session summaries here.

Platforms, Politics, Participation: Save the Date and Call for Panel Proposals

Join us for the 7th annual Privacy Camp!

Privacy Camp will take place on 29 January 2019 in Brussels, Belgium, just before the start of the CPDP conference. Privacy Camp brings together civil society, policy-makers and academia to discuss existing and looming problems for human rights in the digital environment.

Take me to the call for panel submissions.
Take me to the call for user story submissions.

Platforms, Politics, Participation

Privacy Camp 2019 will focus on digital platforms, their societal impact and political significance. Due to the rise of a few powerful companies such as Uber, Facebook, Amazon or Google, the term “platform” has moved beyond its initial computational meaning of technological architecture and has come to be understood as a socio-cultural phenomenon. Platforms are said to facilitate and shape human interactions, thus becoming important economic and political actors. While the companies offering platform services are increasingly the target of regulative action, they are also considered as allies of national and supranational institutions in enforcing policies voluntarily and gauging political interest and support. Digital platforms employ business models that rely on the collection of large amounts of data and the use of advanced algorithms, which raise concerns about their surveillance potential and their impact on political events. Increasingly rooted in the daily life of many individuals, platforms monetise social interactions and turn to questionable labor practices. Many sectors and social practices are being “platformised”, from public health to security, from news to entertainment services. Lately, some scholars have conceptualised this phenomenon as “platform capitalism” or “platform society”.

Privacy Camp 2019 will unpack the implications of “platformisation” for the socio-political fabric, human rights and policy making. In particular, how does the platform logic shape our experiences and the world we live in? How do institutional actors attempt to regulate platforms? In what ways do the affordances and constraints of platforms shape how people share and make use of their data?

Participate!

We welcome panel proposals relating to the broad theme of platforms. Besides classic panel proposals we are also seeking short contributions for our workshop “Situating Platforms: User Narratives”.

1. Panel proposals

We are particularly interested in panel proposals on the following topics: platform economy and labour; algorithmic bias; democratic participation and social networks.

Submission guidelines:

  • Indicate a clear objective for your session, i.e. what would be a good outcome for you?
  • Indicate other speakers that could participate in your panel (and let us know which speaker has already confirmed, at least in principle, to participate).
  • Make it as participative as possible, think about how to include the audience and diverse actors. Note that the average panel length is 75 minutes.
  • Send us a description of no more than 400 words.

2. “Situating Platforms: User Narratives” submissions

In an effort to discuss situated contexts with regard to platforms, we will have a session on lived practices and user narratives. Individuals, civil society groups or community associations are welcome to contribute in the format of a short talk or show & tell demonstration. Details and the online submission form are here:

Submission form

Deadline

The deadline for all submissions is 18 November. After the deadline, we will review your submission and let you know by the end of November whether your proposal can be included in the programme. It is possible that we suggest merging panel proposals if they are very similar.

Please send your proposal via email to privacycamp(at)edri.org!

If you have questions, please contact Kirsten at kirsten.fiedler(at)edri(dot)org or Imge at imge.ozcan(at)vub(dot)be.

About Privacy Camp

Privacy Camp is jointly organised by European Digital Rights (EDRi), the Institute for European Studies of the Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles (USL-B), the Law, Science, Technology & Society research group of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (LSTS-VUB), and Privacy Salon.

Participation is free. Registrations will open in early December.

Press release: 6th annual Privacy Camp takes place on 23 January 2018

Tomorrow, on 23 January 2018, Privacy Camp brings together civil society, policy-makers and academia to discuss problems for human rights in the digital environment. In the face of what some have noted as a “shrinking civic space” for collective action, the event provides a platform for experts from across these domains to discuss and develop shared principles to address key challenges for digital rights and freedoms.

Themed “Speech, settings and [in]security by design”, the one-day conference at the Saint-Louis University in Brussels features panel discussions and privacy workshops led by experts in the fields of privacy, surveillance and human rights advocacy. The nonprofit, nonpartisan event draws privacy activists, civil society representatives, public servants and academia of all ages and backgrounds who are interested in improving privacy and security in communications and work towards the respect of human rights in the digital environment.

This year, Privacy Camp also features the “Civil Society Summit” of the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS).

Among others, speakers of the Privacy Camp 2018 are Giovanni Buttarelli, Wojciech Wiewiorowski, Fanny Hidvegi, Glyn Moody, Katarzyna Szymielewicz, Juraj Sajfert, Marc Rotenberg. The full programme can be accessed here.

Post-camp Party, Tuesday 23/1 from 7pm onwards

All good things must come to an end. But not all things end quite as dramatically and with as much suspense as this year’s PrivacyCamp!

Join our post-camp party at Smouss Bar! There will be complimentary snacks, free drinks (for those with a conference badge, so remember to register to get yours) and, most importantly, our legendary “Big Fat PrivacyCamp Quiz of 2018”.

Here are the directions for getting from the conference to the after-party (by foot, 18 mins):

From 19:00 onwards
at Smouss Café
112 Rue du Marché au Charbon
1000 Bruxelles

Draft programme published

We’re happy to announce the publication of the draft programme for our upcoming Privacy Camp 2018 (hashtag #PrivacyCamp18). The print version of the programme (pdf) with a full description of all panels can be downloaded here.

You can find it here and below.

This year, we will also have two additional surprises for you: An Open Internet Privacy Bar where privacy cocktails will be served to you by the Privacy Training Center and an official after-party (with a quiz & real cocktails). Stay tuned for more details!

Draft programme

Rooms: Auditorium 3 & 4, Salle du Conseil

Time Session
09:30-10:00 Coffee
10:00-10:15 Welcome
10:30-12:00 Session 1: EDPS-CSO summit
Session 2: Networking space
Session 3: Digital Privacy – low and high hanging fruits, and how to pick them
12:00-13:00 Lunch break
13:00-14:30 Session 1: Round-table: Government hacking in different national contexts & strategies for challenging surveillance
Session 2: From “old” filter bubbles to political microtargeting
14:30-14:45 Coffee break
14:45-16:00 Session 1: Government hacking: Exchange with policy-makers
Session 2: Investigating algorithmic systems: Algorithm auditing
16:00-16:15 Coffee break
16:15-17:45 Session 1: Strip searching the internet
Session 2: The use of AI by public authorities
17:45-17:50 Closing

Open Internet Privacy Bar

During the conference, the Open Internet Privacy Bar will offer the following workshops:

Time Workshop Room
14:30-15:30 Privacy and security in the blender: How to better protect your digital life (offered by Privacy Training Center); Q&A Foyer
16:30-17:30 The Data Protection Laws (GDPR) to intensify the privacy & security cocktail: understanding the data protection rights offered by the GDPR to empower individuals to use and practice privacy (offered by Privacy Algebra); Q&A Foyer

After-party

The after-party will take place in Smouss Bar, from 19:00 onwards. Entry only with a conference badge!
Address: 112 Rue du Marché au Charbon – 1000 Bruxelles