Thoughts from panel discussion at GCCS 2015: Rethinking the social impact of new technologies

BLOG: I was recently on a panel with Erik Huizer, Philip Brey and Tom de Bok moderated by Dinand Tinholt. We were discussing the social implications of ‘new’ technologies e.i. robotics and AI.

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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!

Privacy as Innovation round table at the IT University of Copenhagen

TALKS & EVENTS: Key experts from an interdiciplinary field met in Copenhagen in November 2014 to discuss privacy as innovation.


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The Radio Crypto Party

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).

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Language, power and privacy

Talk at the Indie Tech Summit, Brighton, July 2014
This is the direct transcript of my talk (thank you to the Indie Tech team for doing all the work!) DONT WANT TO READ? SEE THE TALK HERE

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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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“Privacy and Innovation: Rethinking Privacy as an Area of Opportunity”, Internet Governance Forum 2013

(IGF) Workshop (308) Background Paper and video of workshop.

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What is Media Literacy?

Notes based on talk at EC event:

Media literacy is to the 21st century what literacy was to the 20th. To be media literate is a precondition for participating fully in the network society. However, the notion that access and technical skills automatically lead to full participation should be questioned. The media literate citizen today needs not only a connection and technical skills, but s/he also must have the skills to read and write various media forms as well as the social and ethical skills to navigate competently within the digital media environment.

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The clash




Molding tomorrow’s citizens into aware and empowered digital citizens should be an easy task. We’ve done it for centuries -raising children to become empowered in the society of tomorrow, that is. But there is a tiny problem though. In this very moment in the history of man, the velocity of technological development has been unprecedented. We’ve never seen anything like it. And we are a little bit stunned.

The point is that our everyday life is digital, so we need to be digital ourselves. The easiest thing I could do right now would be to blame the digital generational gap between children and their adults, point a big fat finger at the adults and say “Get used to it and educate!”It would be so easy. But of course I cannot do that.

In Denmark we do have a rather strong political focus on our role as participants in a globalized network society. Though, a recent survey evaluating ICTs in the Danish school made by the Danish evaluation institute EVA in corporation with the Danish Ministry of Education recently showed that teachers still need more training, that ICT is present in the school, but not functioning, that ICTs are not integrated well enough in the actual subjects, that knowledge sharing systems are primarily used for administrative purposes and that individual ICT initiatives were not supported sufficiently by the school management. These are some of the factors that influence the way in which we bring up kids to become functional empowered citizens of tomorrow.

But there are also the cultural and social factors. And what I see in the classrooms is a conflict between two sets of everyday meanings and practices (that is to say: two different cultures) that clash when students -that have grown up with digital media as natural elements of their everyday lives – and teachers -that have grown up in a completely different media environment – meet in the classroom.