Making Data Protection POP at Republica

Woman with balloons in a forrest

In less than a month the Generalised Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force. Control of your data is too important to leave to others… so how do we understand what’s going on and how do we do something about it?

Together with Sonja Zell a recent graduate from and assistent lecturere at IT University of Copenhagen, I will host a workshop on making data protection (GDPR) POP at the re:publica conference in Berlin next week. The workshop looks at the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) through a focus on citizenship. The GDPR has been talked to pieces by decision makers, businesses and lawyers, but where have the citizens been? Through the workshop we will work on strategies for encouraging citizen participation during the enactment of the GDPR.

The central question is: How can citizen participation be encouraged for reclaiming personal data rights towards businesses as well as for defending them against governmental overreach? The aim is to come out of the workshop with new perspectives and energy to facilitate discussions with citizens on their data rights, their position in the data market and their role as data citizens.

The debate surrounding the GDPR has mainly been on consumer protection rather than citizens’ rights. Furthermore, a strong focus has been the use of personal data by private actors. However the GDPR allows for governments to expand data use through national legislation.

As citizens, we must be enabled to make truly informed decisions about our personal data in a society, which is increasingly built on the use of such data. That requires thoroughly informing and educating citizens not only on their rights, but also on their role in the European data market.

Furthermore, in order to support citizens in reclaiming their right to their personal data, we must continue the debate about data rights at a local level in order to uphold the rights given by the GDPR and to stop member states from undermining them. This calls for a lively and informed public debate, which we like to inspire with this workshop.

Sonja will start the discussion with a focus on the citizens’ role in the European data market. I will introduce a Danish perspective at how governments and the public sector may attempt to expand their use of personal data. We are both enormously looking forward to see what we can learn from the participants at the workshop, at the re:publica conference, which last year gathered 9000 participants.

(photo by saintobert valentin (cc) )

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