Archives for category: Opeds

I was invited to speak at the Bitcoin in Education (BCINED) conference held in Groningen, September 5, 2017. Topic of my presentation: “Blockchain & Identity: Why you should avoid the blockchain like the plague“. While listening to the morning keynotes, praising the many benefits of using blockchains in education and for managing (academic) credentials in particular, I realised my message might provide a very much needed counterpoint. The short summary: using blokchain for identity management is ridiculous.
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The Internet Privacy Engineering Network (IPEN/EDPS), the University of Leuven (KU Leuven), and the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) will host a transatlantic workshop dedicated to Privacy Engineering Research and the GDPR on Friday, 10 November, 2017 at the University of Leuven in Belgium. In preparation they asked a few people for a shortlist of the most pressing issues to be discussed at the workshop. I started thinking, came up with a short list, which then grew longer as I started explaining what I meant. I’m sharing the result in the hope to receive feedback and to sharpen my thinking.

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A few days ago I was strolling around my home town Groningen, when a family asked me the directions to the Dutch Comics Museum (‘Stripmuseum’). As this had been a particularly unproductive day so far (a lot of thinking without getting anywhere, really), I felt very happy to be of service. Silly as it may sound, it actually made me feel good.

This was an important lesson for two reasons.

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Twitter is deriding the Australian Prime Minister who said that The laws of mathematics are very commendable, but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia. This may seem funny at first sight, but unfortunately this lays bare a very fundamental problem: both sides of the trenches in the current ‘crypto war’ fail (or even flatly refuse) to understand each other.

This (second) crypto war rages over the question whether government should get access to end-to-end encrypted communication between devices and the encrypted data stored on such devices.

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A big ransomware campaign is raging on the Internet. Updating your computer regularly, and blocking unneeded ports, are a good first line of defence. Backups are an essential second line of defence. However, if you do backups (and that’s unfortunately a big if), you are more than likely doing it wrong. Making your backups useless in case you are hit by ransomware yourself.

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The first day of CPDP offered an interesting panel on algorithmic transparency that I will summarise here. (There were many panels on very related topics, and some of the remarks made there I’ve used in this summary here.)

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The day before the annual CPDP conference, EDRi (the association of civil and human rights organisations from across Europe) organised Privacy Camp 2017 with a panel on the Internet of Things. Here is a summary.

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