Archives for category: Science

Privacy policies are hard to read. They are very long, and written in ‘legalese’ that very few people understand. As a result, people don’t read them. To allow people to nevertheless learn how websites, apps or services treat their personal data, the use of privacy icons have been proposed. These icons should, when properly designed and used, summarise the privacy policy and convey its essential privacy characteristics. In this blog post I will discuss and analyse the main proposals, and suggest some steps forward.

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Please find below a summary of the lectures given on day #2 of the Interdisciplinary Summerschool on Privacy (ISP 2016), held at Berg en Dal this week. There was a lecture by George Danezis on anonymous communication.

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Please find below a summary of the lectures given on day #2 of the Interdisciplinary Summerschool on Privacy (ISP 2016), held at Berg en Dal this week. There were lectures by Solon Barocas on fairness in machine learning, and Stefania Milan on privacy from the point of view of (organized) collective action.
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Please find below a summary of the lectures given on day #2 of the Interdisciplinary Summerschool on Privacy (ISP 2016), held at Berg en Dal this week. There were lectures by George Danezis privacy-friendly services and Helen Nissenbaum on contextual integrity.

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Please find below a summary of the lectures given on day #1 of the Interdisciplinary Summerschool on Privacy (ISP 2016), held at Berg en Dal this week. There were lectures by Eleni Kosta on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Lilian Edwards on consent in the Internet of Things and Smart Environments.
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Last week I presented at a workshop on Smart Sharing at the European Parliament organised by the European Data Protection Supervisor. My co-presenter, Gabriela Zanfir, told the following story when asked by the audience why privacy is important. I very much liked the example. That’s why I am sharing it here.
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Only the owner of a cryptographic key can decrypt any message encrypted against it. Therefore, if you want to send a message securely to another person, you have to know and use his key to encrypt the message. You have to be certain that it belongs to that person, and not to somebody else that tries to eavesdrop on your communication. This is why many secure communication apps allow you to verify keys using a short fingerprint that is uniquely tied to the key and that can be verified ‘out of band’. This means you have to ask for someone’s fingerprint (over the phone, or by looking at his business card) and compare it to the fingerprint your app shows for that person’s key. Apple’s iMessage is a notable exception, though. And frequently criticised for it.
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