Access Now at CPDP 2023: where to find us

This week, hundreds of policymakers, academics, lawyers, computer scientists, and activists will descend on Brussels for three days of debate and discussion around privacy, data protection, and other pressing digital rights issues. That’s right; it’s time for the annual Computers, Privacy & Data Protection (CPDP) conference, running from 24-26 May. This year’s theme? “Ideas that drive our digital world”. 

As in previous years, several Access Now team members will be on the ground at CPDP23. Here’s a quick run-down of which sessions to check out if you’re interested in hearing more from us about the issues at the intersection of technology and human rights. If you can’t make it in person, don’t worry: (most) session recordings will be available online after the event. And as always, keep an eye on our Twitter feed to follow along with the discussions. 

And on the topic of data protection, don’t forget to check out Access Now’s latest report on five years of GDPR enforcement before you head to CPDP 2023. 

Wednesday 24 May 

“AI Act for all people? Interrogating Europe’s AI regulation from the migration perspective” 

11h45 at La Cave 

Organised by European Digital Rights (EDRi) and moderated by Sarah Chander, EDRi Speakers: Caterina Rodelli, Access Now; Alyna Smith, Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM); Anna Moscibroda, DG JUST, European Commission; Niovi Vavoula, Queen Mary University of London. As the European Union amends the Artificial Intelligence Act (AI Act), exploring the impact of AI systems on marginalised communities is vital. AI systems are increasingly developed, tested, and deployed to judge and control migrants and people on the move in harmful ways. This panel explores the various ways AI systems fit within a broader context of surveillance, criminalisation, and punishment of migrants and people on the move. Tracking EU level political developments, including in the European Parliament, Council, and perspectives from civil society, the panel asks, how can AI regulation prevent harm and ensure protection for all people, regardless of migration status? 

“From notorious rule breaker to privacy advocate: how government can change its stripes” 

16h00 at Area 42 Grand 

Organised by Bits of Freedom and moderated by Evelyn Austin, Bits of Freedom 

Speakers: Cecile Schut, Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens; Sjoera Nas, Privacy Company; Estelle Massé, Access Now; Ron Roozendaal, Ministry of Internal Affairs. 

This panel will explore the coherence between the work of all stakeholders involved in protecting people’s privacy. From drafting laws and regulations, complying with privacy law and enforcing it, to challenging the rules and the rule-breakers: although all stakeholders act autonomously, their work is deeply intertwined. 

Workshop “Data protection in the EU Regulation on Political Advertising: a new paradigm?”

16h00 at M-Village Grande

Organised by European Partnership for Democracy (EPD) and facilitated by Fernando Hortal Foronda, EPD

Speakers: Anna Colaps, EDPS; Eliska Pirkova, Access Now; Maria-Manuel Leitão-Marques, MEP; Asha Allen, CDT Europe

The aim of the session is raising awareness among the privacy community of the upcoming regulation on political advertising in the EU for the implications that it has for the regulation of behavioural advertising beyond political advertising and for the regulation of political campaigning online globally. 

Thursday 25 May 

“Is strong encryption more important now than ever?” 

10h30 at Grande Halle 

Organised by Apple and moderated by Gary Davis, Apple Distribution International

Speakers: Namrata Maheshwari, Access Now; Erik Neuenschwander, Apple; Hannah Neumann, MEP; Edvardas Šileris, European Cybercrime Center, Europol.

Is strong encryption more important now than ever? New regulatory efforts and rising cybersecurity threats are exerting increasing pressure on businesses and governments to answer this question. Until now, security experts from industry and civil society have responded with a resounding yes – that strong encryption protects everyone from harm and threats. Their view is that any form of bypassing would require weaker encryption, resulting in new vulnerabilities that could be exploited by anyone, anywhere. Regulatory efforts influencing this debate, although not intended to undermine encryption, perhaps rest on the assumption that businesses have enough resources to create technology that will solve the complex issue of maintaining strong encryption while responding to legislative expectations. These developments have caused businesses to publicly announce their concerns that strong encryption may be in danger. In this panel, we seek to revisit this pressing debate considering the latest developments in encryption technology and emerging regulatory and security needs. 

Friday 26 May 

The governance of AI: convergence or divergence? 

17h15 at Grande Halle 

Organised by Center for AI and Digital Policy and moderated by Merve Hickok, Center for AI and Digital Policy

Speakers: Emilio De Capitani, former Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) of the European Parliament; Daniel Leufer, Access Now; Eleni Kosta, TILT, Tilburg University; Tjade Stroband, Microsoft. 

As more AI national strategies emerge and more global frameworks are adopted, there appears to be an emerging consensus for the governance of AI. Key concepts, such as fairness, transparency, and accountability are now the pillars of modern AI policy. But additional issues, such as gender equity and sustainability, are emerging, while some countries are still struggling with regulation for basic concepts.