Brussels Privacy Symposium 2020 Report
On December 2, 2020, the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) and the Brussels Privacy Hub of Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) hosted the Brussels Privacy Symposium 2020: Research and the protection of Personal Data Under the GDPR. The event, convened by FPF CEO Jules Polonetsky and Dr. Christopher Kuner, Co-Chair of the Brussels Privacy Hub, brought together industry privacy leaders, academic researchers, and regulators to discuss data protection in the context of scientific research under the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) from various policy and technical perspectives. A new report from FPF’s Caroline Hopland, Hunter Dorwart, Dr. Gabriela Zanfir-Fortuna, and Dr. Rob van Eijk, as well as Associate Professor at the EDHEC Augmented Law Institute Dr. Gianclaudio Malgieri, summarizes and offers context to the discussions at the event.
The 2020 Brussels Privacy Symposium was the fourth-annual academic program jointly presented by VUB and FPF. Notably, the panelists emphasized risks and vulnerabilities with respect to data protection in the scientific research context, highlighting issues with consent structures, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning systems during the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as difficulties to define sensitive data, what privacy enhancing technologies are applied to research datasets and how they may affect efforts to identify bias, or the role of international frameworks and of cross-border data flows in facilitating or hindering research outcomes.