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TSSG organises an EU – United States Roundtable on Cybersecurity and Privacy in Vienna, Austria

By 5th March 2019 No Comments

L-R: James Clarke, Maria Palombini, Felix Barrio, Claudio Caimi

On 5th December, 2018, Mr. James Clarke of the Telecommunications Software and Systems Group of Waterford Institute of Technology was a co-organiser of an EU – United States event entitled “EU-US Roundtable on the Interplay of Technology & Policy in Data Privacy”. Mr. Clarke, in his role in the Horizon 2020 (H2020) Accelerating EU-US Dialogue in Cybersecurity & Privacy (AEGIS) project, spent over six months in the detailed planning and organisation of this major official side event of the ICT 2018 event, which took place in Vienna on 4-6th December 2018. ICT 2018, the EU’s major research and innovation (R&I) event held every two years, attracted 4,800 visitors from all over the globe and focused on the European Union’s priorities in the digital transformation of society and industry.

There were many sessions in the ICT 2018 conference, plenary, networking sessions and exhibition halls related to cybersecurity and privacy and international cooperation; therefore, it was an ideal opportunity to co-locate an official side event to attract participants from around the world directly from ICT 2018.

The AEGIS roundtable was broken into a plenary session of EU and US keynote speakers, with speakers from government funding agencies, industry and researchers, and a high level round-table panel session on the interplay of technology and policy in cybersecurity and privacy, in which Mr. Clarke co-chaired with Mr. Jonathan Litchman of the Providence Group, Washington DC.

 L-R: James Clarke (missing from photo), Maria Palombini, Felix Barrio, Claudio Caimi, Camille Sailer, Miguel Gonzalez-Sancho, Pedro Pavon, Jonathan Litchman

The distinguised panel session highlighted a significant number of transatlantic topics that should be included in future European funding calls, including the following:

  • The need for another project to follow the integrated approach of AEGIS, which is including a frequent policy discussion element and research and innovation element when dealing with the interplay between cybersecurity and privacy across the Atlantic;
  • Education of end users and industry about the potential consequences in relation to their data and information, especially in the era as we move into technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things;
  • We should look at ways to leverage the GDPR from the US perspective, as it is expected to take shape over the next year to avoid having a state by state approach to privacy;
  • Public discussion and more research is needed to find the right balance between security and privacy;
  • Areas for future cooperation between US and EU should include: control of data flows, prevention, detection, response, repair (perhaps with some other steps). All of these have scope for further cooperation: regular policy discussions, research, standards, international cooperation, and building capacity;
  • The topic of bridging the work of Data Privacy by Design (DPbD) and GDPR into a framework for having DPbD as a solution that is GDPR compliant would be an excellent cooperation activity between EU and US. There has already been some work in this area and there should be funding to continue it;
  • With a move towards technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), there is a need to look at the regional and cultural influences when designing ethical frameworks and ethical principles for these technologies in terms of what are the values and how are they evaluated;
  • There is a need to be more proactive than reactive in our research and innovation in the dynamic digital world we are living. Working together on cybersecurity and privacy is a multi-stakeholder activity that requires us to learn from our experiences, especially in relation to new technologies like AI, ledger technologies, privacy by design and GDPR.

A report of the event is available here.