26. September 2019 admin

Reacting to Surveillance by Security Agencies in the Age of Big Data – What is the role of the European Union?

Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Recht, Campus Lichtenberg, Alt-Friedrichsfelde 60, 10315 Berlin, Gebäude 6B, Raum 6B259

13./14. Mai 2016

Starting from the impact of surveillance upon everyday life, the conference explores the ambiguous role that the European Union plays in surveillance. EU institutions established a number of important initiatives in order to strengthen individual rights in relation to public and private surveillance in the era of “big data”. One core element is the data protection package (including a regulation and a directive) that was proposed by the European Com-mission in 2012 and adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in 2016. The conference will analyse this process.
Some EU debates reacted to the revelation by whistleblower Edward Snowden of massive data retention by secret services. However, at the same time, EU institutions such as the European Commission, and the Justice and Home Affairs Council promoted additional forms of data retention and surveillance, e.g. Passenger Names Records (PNR) and new centralised databases. Cooperation among intelligence services has been intensified without strengthen-ing accountability so far.
In a multi-disciplinary approach, the conference will discuss the political, legal, sociological and technical aspects of the ambiguous role that the EU plays as a regulator and a promoter of surveillance. This also includes debates on cryptography, the option of new data streams making Europe more independent from the rest of the world (and therefore more resistant to surveillance) and better European and international law in order to reduce surveillance to a minimum that is adequate for democratic rule-of-law systems.