Privacy Technologies and Policy
The Second Annual Privacy Forum (APF 2014) was held in Athens, Greece, during May 20-21, 2014. The forum was co-organized by the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) and the European Commission Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT), with the support of the Systems Security Laboratory (SSL) of the University of Piraeus. APF 2014 took place during the the Greek Presidency of the Council of the European Union. We are witnessing the fast development of technologies that play an ever more central role in our lives; the most notable developments are the wide deployment of cloud computing, the explosion of social networks, the development of “big data” solutions, and the emerging Internet of Things. While these developments improve the quality of our lives, they also transform society and raise increasing concerns related to privacy. Privacy is an abstract and subjective concept, which depends on context and cultural issues, and that evolves over time. Moreover, several stakeholders interact to resolve ever more complex privacy issues. The revelations by Snowden, which started in the middle of 2013, have brought the privacy risks related to mass surveillance to the forefront of the international community. In the context of big data, companies are collecting an increasing amount of information in order to offer improved and customized services and to reduce fraud and abuse.
The developments in social networks show that users have a joint responsbility for protecting each other’s privacy online. As it is clear that this complex societal issue can only be addressed by a combination of technical and legal means, the European institutions are developing a new Privacy Regulation, whose goal is to update and improve the important 1995 EU Data Protection Directive.
The aim of APF 2014 was to close the loop from research to policy by bringing together scientists and key decision-makers, thereby complementing scientific events dedicated to privacy and privacy technologies. The program of APF 2014 mixed contributed papers that had undergone a scientific review process with invited speakers and panels. But in contrast to most scientific events, researchers were encouraged to submit position papers or overview papers that offered a broader perspective on their research.
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