APC2018 Call for Papers The themes of the Amsterdam Privacy Conference 2018

(1) The Digital Society and Surveillance



The distinction between the private and public sectors has become increasingly fluid, for example through the commodification of security and so called surveillance capitalism. Law enforcement agencies and intelligence services have access to increased resources and means to promote national security. Citizens in the digital society face a continuous stream of security and public safety interventions, as well as consumer surveillance measures. The public space is transformed into a risk society.


(6) Privacy and Democracy



Democratic societies need to make relevant information public, while this may have an impact on the private lives of citizens. Government transparency, open data, e-government and re-use of public sector information all have an impact on this tension. An additional question is how freedom of speech relates to the protection of online privacy. Is the privacy of whistle-blowers sufficiently protected? Concerns about the use of social platforms belong here as well: do these platforms empower or hamper democratic communication?



(2) Data commodification and business opportunities



Personal data are important drivers behind new business models: the exploitation of personal data has become a business in itself. Will citizens become vendors of their personal data and at what price? Or will corporations promote privacy-friendly business models as part of a Corporate Social Responsibility strategy? Will Big Data, artificial intelligence and smart algorithms replace certain professions and will autonomous driving transform mobility?


(7) Value of Privacy



The value of privacy is subject to continuous debate, and concerns such aspects as the universality, subjectivity and contextuality of privacy. Does privacy protect individual autonomy, human dignity or personal freedom, or flows of information? What is the role of privacy for identity and subject formation? Has privacy become redundant, or is it linked to public and societal interests? What impact do privacy and secrecy have on our social interactions and what does the approach to privacy say about a culture or epoch? Philosophical, psychological, sociological, media studies, historical and anthropological perspectives on this topic are combined in this theme to gain new insights.


(3) Smart healthcare, homes and cities



Although doctor-patient confidentiality has been one of the basic pillars of the medical sector, this principle is challenged by electronic health information exchange, biometrics, biobanking, Fitbits and total genome analysis. Smart applications also have a big impact on the private sphere. The home is no longer a purely private space; it is porous and connected to the outside world through smart meters, smart refrigerators and smart toys. The public space is equally transformed into ‘smart cities’ through the use of the internet of things and smart cars.


(8) Discrimination, inequality and immigration



Surveillance of immigrants and immigration flows is increasing, while welfare states like EU Member States, the United States and Australia are fortifying their borders. Sorting and discrimination on the basis of all available data are or can be a consequence of predictive policing, social credit scoring and data driven business models. What does this mean for the thin line between legitimate and illegitimate sorting? How can we ensure that algorithmic data analysis and AI based decisions do not reproduce the injustices and inequalities in society, let alone aggravate them? Can data analysis be neutral?


(4) The regulation of the information society



The EU has adopted the General Data Protection Regulation and Directive 2016/680; the e-Privacy Regulation is next. What impact will the rights to be forgotten, to data portability and to object to profiling have? Is informed consent working? What are ‘personal data’? How should Data Protection Impact Assessments and Privacy by Design be applied? Should privacy be enforced through fines, penalties or tort law? Is the United States of America lagging behind, or is the FTC actually more effective in enforcing privacy rules than other agencies? What about the privacy approaches in Canada, Australia, Asia and Africa? Does the incongruity of different legal approaches to privacy hamper cross-border data flows and, if so, should the United Nations step in?


(9) Responsibility and control



With the introduction of increasingly complex technologies in our lives, the question of control over and responsibility for these devices becomes ever more urgent. Who is responsible for smart devices in the home being used for DDoS-attacks? Who is responsible for accidents caused by smart cars? Who controls smart technology and robots being used in the health care context? How should control infrastructures be designed and regulated?


(5) Personalized Communication and Behavioural Engineering


News media track consumers to offer more “personally relevant” content; Google and Facebook “personalize” search results; political profiling allows politicians to adjust their messages to the preferences of the audience. Personalized communication can be used to steer citizens; nudging allows for soft-paternalism. Can and will these types of behavioural engineering be used to promote the ‘good life’ or will they gradually undermine individual autonomy and create filter bubbles that produce one-dimensional citizens?


(10) Privacy enhancing technologies and encryption



Privacy may be protected in different ways and by different means. Privacy enhancing technologies, design strategies, network security and anonymization are important techniques in this respect. Is anonymization possible, or can it be reversed by de-anonymization? Does the same apply to the possibilities for encryption? And what effect will quantum computing have?



Submit your paper abstract or panel proposal



Please note, all participants have to register and cover the registration fee, also those with accepted panels/papers.



Submitting a paper proposal:


Presenting a paper at APC2018 means typically that you have about 20 minutes to present your paper in a session with two or three other experts on the same or a related topic, with discussion time for Q&A with the audience. Break out sessions last 2 hours.


-15 March 2018 Submission of paper abstract –

submit a proposal of about 1000 words by filling in the form below


-15 April 2018 Notification of acceptance (or not) –

Two reviewers give feedback on the proposal. If accepted, you are asked to incorporate that feedback.


-15 July 2018 Submission of full paper –

APC2018 is a research based conference. We ask all presenters to submit full papers,

which will be distributed to the conference participants (not published online).

Papers are typically around 7.000 words, but may be longer or shorter depending on the theme and discipline.



Submitting a panel proposal:


Having a panel/workshop/seminar at APC2018 means typically that (if accepted) you will be granted a room for 2 hours.

You are responsible for organizing the speakers, leading the debate and Q&A with the audience.

You are responsible for inviting the speakers/registration fee/ travel/accommodation.


-15 March 2018 Submission of paper abstract –

submit a proposal of about 1000 words by filling in the form below, explain the topic of the panel,

the speakers that will be invitied, the titles and topic of their presentations,

format of the panel in terms of time and organization of the 2 hours, etc.


-15 April 2018 Notification of acceptance (or not) –

Two reviewers give feedback on the proposal. If accepted, you are asked to incorporate that feedback.


-15 July 2018 Submission of full paper –

APC2018 is a research based conference. If you have a research based panel or seminar, we ask all presenters to submit full papers, which will be distributed to the conference participants (not published online).

Not all panels/semiars are paper based though, in which case full papers are not required.



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