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P023


Privacy-enhancing technologies: from solution to reconfiguration 
Convenors:
Margo Bernelin (Laboratoire Droit et changement social, University of Nantes)
Sonia Desmoulin (CNRS)
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Format:
Traditional Open Panel

Short Abstract:

Privacy-Enhancing Technologies are offering exciting technical solutions to privacy concerns for data processing. This panel seeks to explore their agency and the reconfigurations they prompt, and to assess in turn the appropriateness and adequacy of current or planned regulatory transformations.

Long Abstract:

Privacy-Enhancing Technologies (PETs) are changing the scenery of data protection and privacy. By aiming to tackle security safeguards and, correlatively, a hight level of confidentiality, PETs seem to fit perfectly our current European legal landscape that requires to adopt technical solutions that protect personal data. From data obfuscation technics, to encryption and distributed ways to access data, PETs are fostering not only scientific but also regulatory enthusiasms. Offering an apparent turnkey solution for preserving private life when personal data are being processed, PETs are taking the fore front of privacy researches. They even tend to shift away privacy discussions from personal rights realisation (such as the rights of access, the right to object to processing or to correct data) to technical upstream measures. In this regard, only few researches have explored the underlying assumptions of that shift and its potential impact.

Building on studies on the governance of science and technologies, our panel seeks fill this gap by questioning this shift and more precisely PET’s impact on agency. Various questions can be addressed: Are personal rights on data processing still relevant? Can PETs foster them or do they reconfigure their effectiveness? Are PETs taking over current regulatory stand on data processing such as the European Health Data Space? What reconfiguration are at stake? Should regulatory answers to privacy concerns be transformed as well by taking into account PETs as object-agents ?

This panel seeks to fit in this year conference’s theme by bringing reflection on the transformative potential of SSH and STS research on the regulatory agenda over data protection.

We seek to bring together scholars from various STS perspectives, inviting theoretical and conceptual studies as well as empirical analysis and comparative approaches. Our panel welcomes proposals from young-researchers (PhD student included).

Accepted papers:

Session 1