There was strong demand for places at the 11th International IFIP Summer School on Privacy and Identity held in Karlstad, Sweden last month thanks to recent changes in EU data protection regulations and the emergence of smart Big Data.

Around 90 people attended the interdisciplinary program, which ran from 21-26 August, focusing on data protection and information privacy from technical, legal, ethical, HCI and industrial perspectives.  

Thirty-five PhD students presented their research, received feedback on their work, and participated in workshops and tutorials on research methods and current topics in information privacy. The student best paper award went to Claudia Quelle from Tilburg University for her contribution on data controller responsibility in the context of fundamental rights.  

Hosted by the University of Karlstad, Department of Computer Science and its Privacy and Security Group, the IFIP Summer School program was inspired by two major themes: Big Data and the coming General Data Protection Directive in the European Union.

Keynote speaker Roger Clarke from Australia opened the summer school with his speech on Big Data privacy risks and their assessment and management. This was followed by a workshop on Big Data applications and individual rights under the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) offered by the German research project Forum Privatheit.  

The EU’s GDPR poses significant challenges for business providing services based on personal data. Major changes in regulation include data subjects’ right to be forgotten and to data portability, the requirement for data controller to enable Privacy by Design and Default, and complementary serious fines for non-compliance by global players.  

Simone Fischer-Hübner, Professor in Computer Science at Karlstad University, was General Co-Chair of the event and said she was very impressed by the calibre of the students who attended.

“Most of the students were at PhD or Masters level, working in areas such as usable privacy and transparency, mobile and app privacy, anonymity and personalisation, profiling, cloud privacy, the General Data Protection Regulation, identity management, cyber security and privacy,” she said.

The students now have an opportunity to revise their papers, which will be reviewed for inclusion in an end-of-year publication by Springer. The final book will include chapters by the young researchers as well as contributions by high profile thought leaders in the privacy and identity management fields.

The IFIP Summer School was organised in cooperation with IFIP Working Groups 9.2, 9.5, 9.6/11.7, 11.4, 11.6 and Special Interest Group 9.2.2 in co-operation with the Computer Science Department at Karlstad University, HumanIT, the EU H2020 Projects Privacy&Us and CREDENTIAL, and the Privacy Forum (Forum Privatheit) project.

This year’s event marked 25 years of researcher education since the first IFIP Summer School was held back in 1991. Researchers travelled from as far afield as Australia, South America, various countries across the EU, Israel and the US, with two students from Brazil and Costa Rica receiving digital equity support from IFIP to enable them to attend.