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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 […]

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Ethics + Consultation + Regulation: a basis for trust

A fascinating discussion at today’s QMUL/SCL/WorldBank event on AI Ethics and Regulations on how we should develop such ethics and regulations. There was general agreement that an ethical approach is essential if any new technology is to be trusted; also, probably, that researchers and developers should lead this through professionalising their practice. First steps are […]

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CSIRT Information Sharing: completing the legal framework

[UPDATE: slides from my TF-CSIRT presentation are now available] Several years ago I wrote a paper on using the GDPR to decide when the benefits of sharing information among network defenders outweighed the risks. That used the Legitimate Interests balancing test to compare the expected benefits – in improving the security of accounts, systems or […]

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Chatbots and Voicebots: legal similarities and differences

The EDPB’s new Guidance on Data Protection issues around Virtual Voice Assistants (Siri, Alexa and friends) makes interesting reading, though – as I predicted a while ago for cookies – they get themselves into legal tangles by assuming “If I need consent for X, might as well get it for Y”. We’ve been focusing more […]