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Data Ethics – by Gry Hasselbalch & Pernille Tranberg

The book will be available as kindle and ePub on Amazon and iBooks 31st October 2016.

Data Ethics – The New Competitive Advantage is written by Gry Hasselbalch and Pernille Tranberg and is supported by Internet Society (isoc.org). The book describes over 50 cases of mainly private companies working with data ethics to varying degrees. Respect for privacy and the right to control one’s own data are becoming key parameters to gain a competitive edge in today’s business world. Companies, organisations and authorities which view data ethics as a social responsibility, giving it the same importance as environmental awareness and respect for human rights, are tomorrow’s winners. Digital trust is paramount to digital growth and prosperity.

This book combines broad trend analyses with case studies to examine companies which use data ethics to varying degrees. The authors make the case that citizens and consumers are no longer just concerned about a lack of control over their data, but they also have begun to act. In addition, they describe alternative business models, advances in technology and a new European data protection regulation, all of which combine to foster a growing market for data-ethical products and services.

The authors’ critical look at tech trends and the ethical dilemmas intertwined with them is sure to interest responsible key players seeking out the best way to get started with data ethics and how to use it to develop digital trust.

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Who decides what privacy is?

Blog (updated 15 June 2016): There’s a battle of words going on, the battle is about the definition of “privacy”, and it’s been going on for centuries. Somehow we’ve led ourselves to believe that the definition of privacy that we all think we share is something intrinsically connected to the individual. But actually it’s not. Although privacy as such is in fact only something the individual can claim (corporations and states cannot), the individual has always been very absent in the very construction of the concept.

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Opacity in machine learning algorithms

– by Gry Hasselbalch

In her new article “How the machine ‘thinks’: Understanding opacity in machine learning algorithms” (January 2016) Jenna Burrell from UC Berkley School of Information discusses methods to investigate opacity in algorithms. Once a technical, opaque word belonging to the sphere of computer scientists and programmers, “Algorithm” has today become a commonly used buzz word in business discourse. So much so that discussions about “big data” in an informed business community will always include a reference to the “Algorithmic Economy”. A new business adventure based on finding patterns in data, creating profiles, predicting and responding to data, making meaning out of data and transforming it into value.

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Report on Digital Challenges for Consumers (Danish Consumers’ Council)

A new 2016 report from the Danish Consumers’ Council “Digital Challenges for Consumers in Denmark” by Gry Hasselbalch maps key challenges for Danish consumers in the digital era. A rapid digital adoption in Denmark has created a number of challenges for Danish consumers. In particular automatic data collection and correlation performed by both public and private actors challenge consumer privacy. Laws, consumers’ skill, as well as public institution’s and private businesses’ conduct, have not progressed in a way that adequately protects and empowers consumers’ in a digital market and public sphere. The report also points to solutions. There is a need for an updated regulatory data protection framework, a development of consumer skills that provide consumers’ with background knowledge of the life of and interests in their data and the advancement of privacy by design solutions in public and private business.

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Machines in school: One more version of “free”

– by Gry Hasselbalch

“If it’s free then you are the product”. This statement normally applies to consumers paying for online services with their data. Another version of this is developers using big industry machine learning technologies for free to build and create services they don’t own the real value of.

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Society of the Destiny Machine and the Algorithmic God (s)

– by Gry Hasselbalch, May 14 2015

Our destiny is a product. Fate is developed upon and innovated with. Fate is part of an actual machinery. It can be sold and traded with. Fate is something the Destiny Machine produces.

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The Second Digital Divide: Pay for Privacy and Trade with your Privacy

– by Gry Hasselbalch

If you weren’t already aware of it, you are being profiled online and your personal data traded in a billion dollar data industry. Don’t worry, most people don’t know much about this. The personal data market is incomprehensible to the average consumer mostly because the trades with their data happen without their direct involvement. And this seems to be the main problem when great minds have to come up with innovative solutions to today’s privacy invasive online business models. The fact that consumers are not involved directly in the trade. That they don’t get their cut of the cake. “Pay for Privacy” and “Trade with Privacy” become the norm, presented as the most fair solutions. But fair to who? Perhaps it’s more a question of a change in fundamental perspective?

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CTRL YOUR DIGITAL FOOT PRINTS

AWARENESS RAISING: “Every day we leave huge amounts of digital footprints on the internet. We can’t prevent all of the footprints in being collected. But we can control many of the traces if we know the right tools. In this movie two teenagers investigate their own digital identity and learn how to control their digital footprints.”

I took part in this film made by Danish Save the Children Denmark in 2014 as one of the “experts”. The film is in Danish but with English subtitles. Watch it with your kids!

Recap of Computers, Privacy & Data Protection Protection Conference, Brussels 2015

BLOG: “It’s like preaching to the converted” one participant tells me when I arrive one day into the CPDP 2015 conference. And so it is. The meta narrative of the conference is so univocally clear and concurred that the Twitter feed #CPDP2015 is almost at a stand still. Expect from occasional ill received peeps from US representatives about compliance with EU data protection standards and so on and so forth, privacy is generally viewed as a business opportunity, an EU competitive differentiator and a legal right (yes, one still need to emphasise that).

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“The right to privacy online” (English translation of my op ed in the Danish newspaper Berlingske Tidende)

In 1992 the public gained access to the former Eastern Germany secret service Stasi archives. They consisted of 180 kilometers files and 35 million other documents, photos , audio, documents and taped phone conversations. The archives are evidence of a gigantic effort. Physical penetration into people’s homes, hours of interception and handling of information. Stasi was established in 1950. This was also the year the European Convention on Human Rights was defined (signed in 1953 ) . Two years before in 1948, the UN Declaration on Human Rights was signed. Both had and still have an article on the right to privacy.

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Outline: Civil society, legal/interstate and technical community responses to the challenges to privacy (talk on “Privacy in the Age of Big Data” )

We have moved on to an important stage in the evolution of the internet characterized by an increasing demand from all sectors of society to regain control. This stage is comprised by legal/interstate responses to the challenges to privacy, technical community responses and civil society sentiments and actions.

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