European Conference on Data Ethics 2017 wrap-up

We had a fantastic time at the first ever European Conference on Data Ethics in Copenhagen on 29 September. It was great to reach out to other companies and individuals who are passionate about protecting digital privacy.

The location for the conference was quirky but fascinating – an old train station was converted to a modern business and conference center, with plenty of space for individual panels, workshops and large presentations.

Privacy Tech and Ethical Data Practices

The two tracks running concurrently at the conference were both very interesting. Unfortunately, we couldn’t be everywhere at once.

The ethical aspects of handling user data were presented and discussed by a variety of thought leaders, including university professors, scientists and ethicists. They looked into the future, focusing on how we should manage privacy around artificial intelligence, and asking the question “How can we ensure ethical coding practices?”

In the second track, a range of privacy tech companies presented solutions detailing how they handle privacy and user data.

Brian Schildt’s talk on Findx, private search and keeping secrets was well received, and led into a great panel discussion afterwards.

Privacy tech panel discussion

We’d like to give a shout out to our co-panelists – it was great to meet and get to talk with you, and we look forward to our future discussions!

Watch a video of our panel session where we discussed some rather tricky questions.

Panel discussion

  • Wire is a secure and private messaging ‘Skype-like’ application with end-to-end encryption. You can keep your personal (and professional) data out of the hands of advertisers and third parties by using this application. Siim Teller’s talk
  • Purism makes secure high-end laptops and mobile phones where they guarantee that the physical chips used in your device contain no ‘hidden’ software that in non-secure components can transmit sound, video, images or be used to install malware or spyware. Zlatan Todoric’s talk
  • development lab has a team of two plus an adorable husky, and were presenting their tracking blocker for desktops and mobile devices. Like us, they raise awareness on ethical data practices and the human right to privacy. Laura Kalbag’s talk

There were some big names attending: TomTom, Mozilla, LEGO, and many more. It’s great to see data ethics and data privacy being more carefully considered in product development and service delivery, and not just by small, independent developers. Ethical data handling practices will only become more important as we increasingly use such technology as wearables, smart devices and voice assistants.

We also had a very interesting conversation with Marc Al-Haymes from Cliqz  about private browsing and European search engines, and how some websites block decent bots like the Findxbot. Read more about the Findxbot and see the list of websites we have contacted to ask to be allowed to index here.

Presentations from many insightful people about data ethics

As the name of the conference indicates, the topic was how we, as a society, handle ethics when it comes to the use of data. Many privacy tech companies attended, and a number of thought leaders were there. Daniel Kaplan from Next-Generation Internet Foundation (FING),  Evelyn Ruppert, Professor of Sociology at Goldsmiths and John C Havens from the IEEE Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems (IEEE), all talked about the organization’s work with Gry Hasselbalch and Katryna Dow.

Video playlist of all the conference presentations and panels

We are looking forward to next year’s conference!


Images ©: Optin4Privacy, , and