Seven Deadly Sins against privacy and personal data protection

  • 2015-10-21

Cyber Security Lecture Series with Dr. Niels van Dijk and Dariusz Kloza (both Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Belgium)


Smart grids offer novel means of energy governance and promise an adequate response to environmental, societal and technical developments of the 21st century. Yet, at the same time, they are capable of invading the sacrosanctity of the most privacy-sensitive place - the home. In this lecture, Dariusz Kloza and Niels van Dijk will sketch several societal challenges that smart grids pose and amongst these the threat of abusive surveillance practices. They will next overview and critically assess the “light” regulatory approach that the European Union (EU) has taken as a response thereto. By pointing out the seven major drawbacks of this “light” approach, they will argue that its core element, i.e. a data protection impact assessment (DPIA) framework, is rather a missed opportunity. In their opinion, impact assessments of emerging technologies must be inclusive, easy to use and flexible, satisfying certain quality criteria.


Dr Niels van Dijk is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Research Group on Law, Science, Technology and Society (LSTS) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB) and at the Institute for Computer and Information Sciences (ICIS) at Radboud University Nijmegen. He is also a lecturer in legal philosophy at the Saint-Louis University (USBL) in Brussels. As a researcher he has participated in several national and European interdisciplinary research projects. His research focuses mainly on the challenges posed by new (digital) technologies to practices of law, especially in the fields of intellectual property rights, privacy and personal data protection. Further fields of his interest include: legal theory, law & technology, science & technology studies (STS) and interdisciplinarity.

Dariusz (Darek) Kloza, LLM is a researcher in privacy and personal data protection at the Research Group on Law, Science, Technology, and Society (LSTS) and the Institute for European Studies (IES), both at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) as well as at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). His expertise concentrates on the governance and practice of impact assessments for emerging technologies. To that end, he has been involved in a number of EU co-funded research project, such as PIAF (A Privacy Impact Assessment Framework for data protection and privacy rights) and EPINET (Integrated Assessment of Societal Impacts of Emerging Science and Technology from within Epistemic Networks). He holds both an LLM in Law and Technology (2010) from the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT) at Tilburg University (with distinction) and a master degree in law from the University of Bialystok (2008).


This talk is organized by the Automation Systems Group at the Institute of Computer Aided Automation and AIT Sefety and Security Department.


  • Dr. Niels van Dijk, Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Belgium
  • LL.M. Dariusz Kloza, Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Belgium

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