We ask artificially intelligent systems to make order in our messy modern realities, but very rarely do we question what type of order. This is a call for an historical awareness of the social systems that we are building: Which social, cultural norms, values and interests do they represent, reinforce and enact?
The IAPP is the largest and most comprehensive global information privacy community and resource. Founded in 2000, the IAPP is a not-for-profit organization that helps define, support and improve the privacy profession globally.
Our lives are lived in data. Data crossing borders and connected in virtual space. Most often, it appears, we live in open and too easily accessible data networks. States and corporations are watching us through data, and we are watching each other through data. What does individual privacy mean in this data saturated environment?
We are living in an era defined and shaped by data. Data makes the world go round. It is politics, it is culture, it is everyday life and it is business. Our data-flooded era is one of technological progress, with tides rising at a never seen before pace. Roles, rights and responsibilities are reorganized and new ethical questions posed. Data ethics must and will be a new compass to guide us.
by Gry Hasselbalch and Pernille Tranberg
First appeared in DailyDot 23rd October
BLOG: How come Facebook knows that I have a mother with Alzheimer’s, a woman asked the other day. She was sure that she hadn’t provided the social medium with such sensitive information. But when quizzed a bit further, she confirmed that she had googled the illness and been browsing the Alzheimer’s Association’s website. Both websites “gossip” about visitors’ behavior behind their back to other websites, including Facebook, via third-party cookies.
Data ethics – the New Competitive Advantage by Gry Hasselbalch and Pernille Tranberg
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.
– by Gry Hasselbalch
This January the European Data Protection Supervisor presented his new “Ethics Advisory Group”. A group of experts that will help him “reconsider the ethical dimension of the relationships between human rights, technology, markets and business models and their implications for the rights to privacy and data protection in the digital environment.” He is not the first European decision maker or thought leader to bring forward ethics as a guiding principle in the digital age. Over the last year digital ethics, and in particular data ethics, have become the “talk of the town” in Europe. Based on the realisation that laws have not followed pace with the development of digital technologies, technologists, academics, policymakers and businesses are today revisiting cultural values and moral systems when groping for a new ethical framework for the digital age.
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.
TALKS & EVENTS: On 29th October representatives of toy companies and tech critics met to discuss the evolving Internet of Toys and the data ethical implications of this at the European Commission Safer Internet Forum. The fact that we are talking about data ethics with toy makers at this early stage of the development of an internet of toys is yet another symptom of the paradigm shift in business development where privacy and data ethics increasingly are perceived as competitive parameters.
Contact Gry Hasselbalch
Advisor for organisations on the social and data ethical implications of tech. Co-founder of DataEthics.eu. Independent ethics expert for the EU. Worked with internet policy and digital rights for 10 years in the pan EU network on youth & internet. Behind several larger studies and reports. Author of Data Ethics – The New Competitive Advantage. @mediamocracy, firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: +39 3512705584 (Italy), +45 29827374 (Denmark)
– 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.
by Gry Hasselbalch Lapenta, Rikke Frank Jørgensen
PUBLICATIONS: The right to privacy is a fundamental human right defined in international and regional human rights instruments. As such it has been included as a core component of key legislature and policy proceedings throughout the brief history of the World Wide Web. While it is generally recognized in public policy making that the right to privacy is challenged in new ways in a structurally transformed online public sphere, the way in which it has been framed does not seem to acknowledge this transformation.
– 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?
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!
BLOG: If you still didn’t read Maciej Cegłowski’s talk from May 2014 on the evolution of the surveillance pr default business model of the internet, please do so now. It cuts straight through the narratives of industry, government and other interest groups in the surveillance- privacy – internet debates of today and exposes them for what they are: specific views with specific interests heavily embedded in very specific power structures. Enjoy!
“My point again: it’s silly to pretend that keeping mass surveillance in private hands would protect us from abuses by government. The only way to keep user information safe is not to store it.” – Maciej Cegłowski
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).
– by Gry Hasselbalch
The drones are arriving. Not only as military devices. But as a new business model, a different way of conducting journalism and a new research tool. The tiny device will fly high above and with images add a new perspective that reveals a world of detail that would not have been possible from a ground perspective. According to the media and journalism scholar Kathleen Bartzen Culver presenting at this weeks panel “Drones at the margins” at the annual CPDP 2015 conference it is estimated that the US will have between 20.000 – 30.000 drones by 2020 and that drones will be a 90 billion dollar industry in the future. Evidently so called ‘drone laws’ and policies are emerging aimed at framing the conduct of people and institutions with the devices. Continue reading “Next: “The Selfie Drone” – which laws apply?”
AWARENESS RAISING: Lovisa Inserra from our Global Privacy as Innovation Network has made some great interviews for the network at the Internet Days in Sweden November 2014. Here’s one of my favourites with Annie Machon: http://vimeo.com/112891036 We want to continue talking with experts, advocates, academics, activists etc. about privacy and innovation in the digital age. Keep an eye for future interviews by Lovisa on the networks site
TALKS & EVENTS: Key experts from an interdiciplinary field met in Copenhagen in November 2014 to discuss privacy as innovation.
AWARENESS RAISING: “Henrik Kramshøj is a Whitehat-hacker with his own company, Gry Hasselbalch is active in Privacy and has previously worked for the Danish Media Council for Children and Young People and Alexander Mills is a High School student with a particular interest in safety in cyberspace. I november Aflyttets host Anders Kjærulff invited them to talk about safety and privacy in two programmes…”. The Danish radio programme Aflyttet “Surveilled” brought these two programmes to guide and provide listeners with tools to safeguard their privacy in 2014. Listen to them here (in Danish).
PUBLICATIONS: In 2013 the think tank Digital Youth conducted a study among Danish youth in 11 focus groups to explore their strategies to control their privacy on social media.