ESRs Secondments at GPDP, University of Piraeus, Paul Sabatier III and AGCM

In this special edition of our blog posts, our ESRs write about their experiences and insights they made during their secondments.

Secondments enable ESRs to engage with prominent academics and practitioners at both partner universities and research institutes as well as industrial and regulatory entities. ESRs gain practical experience in how their research might translate into real-life problems encountered by businesses. At the same time, ESRs will be able to complement their research with practical experiences gained throughout the secondment and adapt their research projects accordingly. Finally, they also constitute an invaluable networking opportunity and grant our ESRs the possibility to identify possible career paths. Whether in the academic, regulatory, or industry sectors.

Each ESR will complete two secondments: one at a beneficiary (universities and research institutes) and one at the partners (industry or regulatory bodies) of the LeADS project.

ESR Fatma Doğan at University of Piraeus and GPDP

Fatma S. Doğan started on her first secondment at the University of Piraeus in September 2023. During this one-month period, Fatma undertook her secondment at the Data and Cloud Lab under the guidance of Prof. Dimosthenis Kyriazis. piraeusFatma had the chance to communicate with fellow researchers about their studies, and through this exchange, possible collaborations have emerged, given several studies conducted on health data within the University of Piraeus. Fatma also attended the European Researchers’ Night event in Athens on September 29. At this scientific fair, Fatma and fellow ESRs promoted the LeADS project while at the same time engaging with researchers from various fields.

Continuing her studies from December 18th to April 30th, 2024, Fatma is undertaking her non-academic secondment at the gddpItalian Data Protection Authority (GPDP) in Rome. She conducts her studies under the supervision of Dr. Roberto Lattanzi and Dr. Cosimo Comella, focusing on the evolving landscape of data protection regulations, particularly the proposed European Health Data Space regulation. On February 9th, Fatma attended the “State of AI” conference organized as part of the Privacy Symposium. The conference welcomed several esteemed guests from Member States’ supervisory bodies and tech companies such as Google, Meta, and Microsoft. During this full-day event, possible outcomes of the AI Act were evaluated by panel attendees. Speakers from international bodies such as NATO and OECD provided a novel vision to the audience. GPDP’s investigation of OpenAI regarding its data protection breaches of GDPR was also discussed in terms of setting a precedent.

In general, it has been and still is an enriching experience to witness the breakthroughs of AI technologies at GPDP. Though these breakthroughs excite us all, they bring numerous concerns regarding data protection. As one of the supervisory bodies closely following these technological developments, investigations conducted by GPDP remind us of these concerns.

Read more about the latest investigations about OpenAI’s SORA here.

ESR Robert L. Poe at Paul Sabatier III and AGCM

I spent the late spring and early summer of 2023 at Paul Sabatier III in Toulouse, researching algorithmic fairness and non-discrimination under the guidance of the mathematician, Prof. Jean-Michel Loubes. Prof. Loubes has published extensively in the field of fair machine learning, and the afternoons spent brainstorming with him were well spent. While there, I and fellow ESR Soumia El Mestari finished our Working Paper, a final draft of which will be presented in June of this year at ACM FAccT in Brazil. I also finished a second paper which was presented in the autumn of 2023 at the European garante comunicazioneConference on Machine Learning and Data Mining. While my time in Toulouse was productive, it was also enjoyable. I look back fondly on the many lunches shared with fellow ESR Barbara Lazarotto, Mohamed Ali Kandi and Giorgia Macilotti, discussing the sociological effects of emerging technologies and whether and how certain risks might be mitigated.