Brussels Privacy Hub
The Brussels Privacy Hub was founded in 2014 as an academic research centre with a global focus. As an entity of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), it uses its location in Brussels to engage with EU policymakers, data protection regulators, private sector, and NGOs, and to produce innovative, cutting-edge research on important questions of data protection and privacy law and policy.
Ethical Commerce Alliance
The Ethical Commerce Alliance is the industry network exploring how ethical values make a difference in economic success and foster a thriving digital society. Together, we strive to enable businesses to act responsibly and ultimately end the damaging surveillance economy.
We aim to extend empathy.co’s core principles beyond company boundaries, as we evolve from its vision and values. The ECA sets a new tone for a more ethical use of personal data and a sustainable, human-centric approach to technology.
The XAI project focuses on the urgent open challenge of how to construct meaningful explanations of opaque AI/ML systems, introducing the local-to-global framework for black box explanation, articulated along three lines: a) the language for expressing; b) the inference of local explanations; c), the bottom-up generalization of many local explanations into simple global ones.
The CompuLaw project addresses the regulation of computations (processes and systems) through an innovative legal & technological framework: it provides epistemic, technical and normative guidance for the de-velopment of computable laws and law compliant computations.
The context is the ongoing transformation of the social world into a hybrid infosphere, populated by a huge and growing number of increasingly pervasive, autonomous and intelligent computational enti-ties. The scale, speed, ubiquity and autonomy of computations make it impossible for humans to di-rectly monitor them and anticipate all possible illegal computational behaviours. The law can hold the hybrid infosphere under its rule – providing protection, security and trust – only if it be-comes computation-oriented: legal and ethical requirements must be integrated with, mapped onto, and partially translated into, computable representations of legal knowledge and reasoning.
The Law, Science and Technology Joint Doctorate: Rights of the Internet of Everything (Last-JD-RIoE) is a 3-year interdisciplinary PhD programme allowing students to pursue innovative research projects in collaboration with industrial, international, and governmental partners throughout Europe.
HEART (HEalth related Activity Recognition system based on IoT) is an industrial PhD program structured in six individual research projects, closely interrelated, conducted by six excellent young researchers (four PhD students in ICT, one in Legal studies and one in International business). The final result of HEART will be the development of an integrated activity recognition platform for (personal) health services, addressing the above-mentioned challenges and able to successfully compete both in the European and Chinese market.
RestAssured (Secure data Processing in the Cloud) will provide solutions to specific technical concerns of data protection in the cloud (such as geo-location restrictions on personal data), which are imposed by the dynamic, multi-stakeholder and decentralized nature of federated cloud systems. These concerns mean that privacy and security by design approaches will no longer be sufficient, due to uncertainty at design time of how the cloud and privacy requirements may dynamically evolve and change at run time. To this end, RestAssured provides novel mechanisms and cloud architectures for the runtime detection, prediction and prevention of data protection violations.
SHiELD (European Security in Health Data Exchange) will unlock the value of health data to European citizens and businesses by overcoming security and regulatory challenges that today prevent this data being exchanged with those who need it. This will make it possible to provide better health care to mobile citizens across European borders, and facilitate legitimate commercial uses of health data.
SHiELD will address these security and compliance challenges by i) providing models and analysis tools for automated identification of end-to-end security risks and compliance issues and supporting privacy and ‘by design’, ii) defining an open and extensible data exchange architecture based on epSOS, able to support security measures to address these risks, iii) developing security mechanisms to deal with new and emerging risks, such as inference attacks on sensitive data, and risks from relatively unprotected mobile edge devices, and iv) providing faster and more cost effective methods to verify and monitor compliance with multiple sets of applicable regulations;
The SPECIAL project (Scalable Policy-awarE linked data arChitecture for prIvacy, trAnsparency and compLiance) will address the contradiction between Big Data innovation and privacy-aware data protection by proposing a technical solution that makes both of these goals realistic. It allows citizens and organisation to share more data, while guaranteeing compliance with data protection, thus enabling both trust and the creation of valuable new insights from shared data.
The project will: i) support the acquisition of user consent at collection time and the recording of both data and metadata (consent policies, event data, context) according to legislative and user-specified policies, ii) cater for privacy-aware, secure workflows that include usage/access control, transparency and compliance verification, iii) demonstrate robusteness in terms of performance, scalability and security, all of which are necessary to support privacy preserving innovation in Big data environments, and iv) provide a dashboard with feedback and control features that make privacy in Big Data comprehensible and managable for data subjects, controllers, and processors.
The SHERPA (Shaping the ethical dimension of smart information systems) project will investigate, analyse and synthesise our understanding of the ways in which smart information systems (SIS; the combination of artificial intelligence and big data analytics) impact ethics and human rights issues. It will develop novel ways of understanding and addressing SIS challenges, evaluate with stakeholders, and advocate the most desirable and sustainable solutions.
SHERPA will: (1) represent and visualise the ethical and human rights challenges of SIS through case studies, scenarios and artistic representations, (2) work with a range of stakeholders to identify their concerns and preferred solutions (via interviews, a large-scale online survey, a Delphi study, a stakeholder board), (3) develop and publish a workbook on responsible development of SIS, (4) present technical and regulatory options (e.g. terms of reference for a regulator), (5) validate and prioritise the proposals through multi-stakeholder focus groups, and (6) advocate, promote and implement the most promising solutions through targeted dissemination and communication activities.
AI4EU will efficiently build a comprehensive European AI-on-demand platform to lower barriers to innovation, to boost technology transfer and catalyse the growth of start-ups and SMEs in all sectors through Open calls and other actions. The platform will act as a broker, developer and one-stop shop providing and showcasing services, expertise, algorithms, software frameworks, development tools, components, modules, data, computing resources, prototyping functions and access to funding. Training will enable different user communities (engineers, civic leaders, etc.) to obtain skills and certifications.
The AI4EU Platform will establish a world reference, built upon and interoperable with existing AI and data components (e.g. the Acumos open-source framework, QWT search engine..) and platforms. It will mobilize the whole European AI ecosystem and already unites 80 partners in 21 countries including researchers, innovators and related talents.
The AI4EU Ethical Observatory will be established to ensure the respect of human centred AI values and European regulations. Sustainability will be ensured via the creation of the AI4EU Foundation. The results will feed a new and comprehensive Strategic Research Innovation Agenda for Europe.