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What Happens in VR…?

A colleague spotted an article suggesting, among other things, that Virtual Reality could provide a safe space for students to practice their soft skills. This can, of course, be done by classroom roleplay but the possibility of making mistakes that fellow students will remember could well increase stress. This certainly chimes with feedback I received […]

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Srry, you woke me…

Recently I was in a video-conference where Apple’s “smart” assistant kept popping up on the presenter’s shared screen. Another delegate realised this happened whenever the word “theory” was spoken. It’s close… These events – which I refer to as “false-wakes” – are privacy risk: maybe small, but that depends very much on the nature of […]

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Publications

A Pathway Towards AI Ethics

We can probably agree that “Ethical Artificial Intelligence” is a desirable goal. But getting there can involve daunting leaps over unfamiliar terrain. What do principles like “beneficence” and “non-maleficence” mean in practice? Indeed, what is, and is not, AI? Working with the British and Irish Law, Education and Technology Association (BILETA), Jisc’s National Centre for […]

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ePrivacy Regulation: one step closer

[Update (Nov’21): I’ve discovered that Patrick Breyer MEP has published a “parallel text” of the three current proposals (Commission, Parliament and Council). Not exactly easy reading, but it makes it much easier to see where they are similar, and where there remain significant differences] [Original (Feb’21) post…] After four years, and nearly three years after […]

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Is “AI bias” an excuse?

Something made me uneasy when a colleague recently referred to “AI bias”. I think that’s because it doesn’t mention the actual source of such bias: humans! AI may expand and expose that bias, but it can’t do that unless we give it the seed. That’s rarely deliberate: we might treat it as a result of […]

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GDPR: Not about “trade-offs”

The Information Commissioner’s response to proposals for data protection reform has another take on my idea of the law helping us to find sweet spots: those points shouldn’t be seen as “trade-offs”, but as mutually beneficial. As the ICO puts it: The economic and societal benefits of this digital growth are only possible through earning […]

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GDPR: A Guide to Sweet Spots?

I keep coming back to the idea that Data Protection law (at least as expressed in the GDPR) has two explicit objectives: to “protect natural persons” and to enable “free movement of data”. And those are presented as compatible, not conflicting. In the case of a couple of the Article 6 lawful bases for processing that’s […]

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AI, Consent and the Social Contract

“Consent” is a word with many meanings. In data protection it’s something like “a signal that an individual agrees to data being used”. But in political theory “consent to be governed” is something very different. A panel at the PrivSec Global conference suggested that the latter – also referred to as the “social contract” – […]

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Schrems II: pragmatism or uncertainty?

A fascinating panel at the PrivSec Global conference looked at how individual courts and regulators have responded to the Schrems II decision on international transfers of personal data. That decision, and the subsequent guidance from the European Data Protection Board, aimed to establish a consistent regime for transferring personal data from the EEA to external […]

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Information Sharing in Emergencies

The Information Commissioner’s new blog post explains how Data Protection law should be seen as a guide to when and how to share information in emergencies, not an obstacle to such sharing. In health emergencies three provisions are most likely to be relevant: Explicit Consent (GDPR Art.9(2)(a)): where an individual chooses to disclose information, such […]