• Program for Online Workshop "Measures to Contain and Prevent the Covid-19"

    11.5.2020 17:40

    The Law, Technology and Design Thinking Research Group is hosting an online workshop concerning privacy and the Covid-19 situation, under the title "Measures to Contain and Prevent the Covid-19: A Comparative Analysis of their Effects on the Fundamental Rights of Privacy".

    Due to the pandemic spread of the Covid-19 virus almost every state in the world has taken measures to contain the spread of the virus and mitigate its effects. Although the measures and the implementation of the rules differ throughout Europe (and the world) the basics of the measures are very comparable.

    The goal of the Workshop is to compare the measures taken thus far in some European States, namely Finland, Italy, Poland, Germany and The Netherlands and analyse them based on their effects and legitimacy in respect to the restriction of fundamental rights, privacy and data protection.

    Speakers include professor Monica Palmirani (University of Bologna, Italy) and LTDT group members. The workshop will be held online (via Microsoft Teams) on Wednesday, May 27th, 15:0016:30.

  • Column: A corona tracking app, the end of privacy?

    8.4.2020 9:55

    A column by Rob van den Hoven van Genderen, Professor of Practice at Ulap/Faculty of Law .

    Does the coronavirus also erode fundamental rights and civil liberties?

    In China, it was expected that the already established social credit system would be used to combat the coronavirus outbreak. The citizens were followed via ‘track & trace’, the extensive camera system, temperature sensors, drones and the ‘we chat’ application on smartphones. If the body temperature was too high, action was taken, people in the vicinity of that person were warned and taken into isolation. In addition, all citizens are followed to see whether they adhere to the proclaimed rules of conduct. Violations are subject to severe penalties. This system has been adopted to a greater or lesser extent in Israel and South Korea. I do not know the situation in North Korea, but a strict regime will probably apply here, although there is probably a lesser degree of ‘smartphonization’ there. In Germany, a debate is going on in the parliament to follow smartphones by the government, whereby the choice is given to the citizen whether or not to use the app. A study by the University of Oxford developed mathematical models that can be used to map people's movements and encounters with other people. In this way, people can be warned and the government can gain a better insight into the distribution of coronavirus and can adjust its measures accordingly. Nothing new for the Chinese. Google has released the movement data of the logs of users (Google apps such as timeline, tracks or coach). I don't remember giving permission for that.

    In Europe a research group called Pan-European Privacy Preserving Proximity Tracing (PEPP-PT) is working on a pan European tracking app based on blue tooth vicinity comparable with tracking apps in China, South Korea, Singapore and India, although it should take privacy requirements into account. But even pseudonymizised data can be analysed to be identifiable with the right algorithm.[1] And if all people have to have this app (and a smartphone) there also will be ample opportunity for cyber criminal to use these data if not severly secured!

    In the Netherlands, the so-called ‘outbreak team’ also seems to advise that citizens be followed through the movements recorded by mobile phones. Perhaps also useful to switch on the camera and microphone remotely so that the government is informed about how the citizen experiences the measures - and whether the criticism can be suppressed!

    It will not come to that. After all, the GDPR does not allow this... But if the needs be, Article 6 gives some possibilities by mentioning grounds for processing without permission of the data subject, namely in the interest of the vital interest of the subject or third parties or the public interest. And if that does not give enough ground for action there always is the last resort for a state to declare the state of emergency (Japan, Israel, USA, etc.), in the context of protecting public health, in which case the GDPR no longer applies in its entirety.

    In some countries, as for instance Hungary the corona-crises is already misused to extend the powers of government, in this case president Orban, to set aside the involvement of the national parliament.

    Fundamental rights can be restricted by the government on the basis of Article 23 of the GDPR. Without taking that as a fundamental restriction, still freedom of movement of persons, free trade and even freedom of expression can be limited in these circumstances. The government is also keeping a tight rein on the provision of information by the government to citizens. The government provides limited information about the course of infections, patients healed and the effects of the disease on the physical and psychological state of the citizen.

    In addition, there is journalistic self-censorship. In an interview as an expert by experience with a representative of the paper media, I indicated that there are indeed physical effects on the respiratory system and heart function after direct cure of the virus. After consultation by the journalist of an undisclosed out-of-hours GP post, the journalist was advised by the out-of-hours GP post not to publish anything about this, as this type of message would increase the fear among the citizens.

    So preferably no important information about the negative aspects after healing. No, instead there are positive figures about the number of IC patients and those who died, which helps to promote a positive spirit among the population. And still no figures on healings and positive effect of immunity.

    And how long will it take before this (fictional) state of emergency continues in the various countries? Will camera surveillance, telephone track & trace, temperature sensors, deployment of drones, etc. be lifted with the (temporary) disappearance of the virus?

  • Workshop on Games, Law, and Society

    17.1.2020 11:42

    The LTDT Research Group will organize a workshop on Games, Law, and Society on February 11th, 2020, from 13:15 onwards in Lecture Hall 16. The workshop can also be attended remotely via AC. Participants from all faculties with an interest in games of all kinds are welcome!

    Please click here for the program, including speakers and schedule.

  • Program for the Nordic Conference on Legal Informatics published!

    9.10.2019 17:05

    The first program version for the Nordic Conference on Legal Informatics, coming up this November, has been published.

  • Heidi Härkönen's half-way doctoral defense

    11.9.2019 13:30

    LTDT group member Heidi Härkönen’s half-way PhD thesis defense will take place on November 12th, 2019, 10.00-12.00 in Lecture Hall 16.

    The title of the thesis is “Copyright and Fashion. From a low-copyright equilibrium towards unity of arts”. The opponent will be Professor Sharon Sandeen from Mitchell Hamline School of Law (USA).

    More information can be found here.

  • Registration to the Nordic Conference on Legal Informatics 2019 now open!

    10.9.2019 13:40

    Registration to the Nordic Conference on Legal Informatics 2019 has now been opened.

    The registration form can be accessed directly by clicking here. Additional information concerning fees, accommodation etc. has been updated on the conference web site.

  • Program for Workshop "Regulating AI and Robots"

    9.9.2019 17:35

    LTDT Research Group will organize a workshop on Regulating AI and Robots on September 11, 2019, 13.00–16.00 in Lecture Hall 8.

    Program of the event is available here.

  • Academy of Finland funding for VALUEBIOMAT project

    20.6.2019 13:10

    The Academy of Finland’s Strategic Research Council has granted funding to the Faculty of Law at the University of Lapland for the consortium research project Bio-oils based polymeric composites; value chain from syntheisis to additive manufacturing (VALUEBIOMAT). The VALUEBIOMAT project received funding for 4 006 611 euro in total, of which 569 879 euros goes to the University of Lapland, Faculty of Law.

    The project is led by Professor Jukka Seppälä from Aalto University, Department of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering (Aalto School of Chemical Engineering). In addition to Professor Seppälä’s group, from Aalto University also Professor Jouni Partanen and his group from the Department of Mechanical Engineering (Aalto School of Engineering) and Professor Jan Holmström and his group from the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management (Aalto School of Science) participate in the project. The other consortium partners are Associate Professor, LTDT director Rosa Ballardini (University of Lapland, Faculty of Law), Professor Hannu Ilvesniemi (Luke) and Senior scientist Peter Ylen (VTT).

    The project starts in June 2019. More details on the decision can be found from the Academy of Finland website.

  • Juhana Riekkinen defended his dissertation

    15.5.2019 11:51

    LTDT Group member Juhana Riekkinen successfully defended his LL.D. (Ph.D.) dissertation in a public examination on May 10, 2019.

    Juhana Riekkinen's dissertation, titled Sähköiset todisteet rikosprosessissa – Tutkimus tietotekniikan ja verkkoyhteiskuntakehityksen vaikutuksista todisteiden elinkaareen concerns electronic evidence in criminal procedure.

    More information can be found in the dissertation release (in Finnish).
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