Renowned scientists and policy advisors speak at CWI Lectures on Privacy and Security

Our privacy, a fundamental right, is threatened by surveillance and smart algorithms. Can our privacy be salvaged from 'intelligent' machines? During the CWI Lectures 2018 four renowned scientists and policy advisors discuss the state of the art in protecting privacy. Keynote speakers: Marc Rotenberg (USA), Jan Camenisch (Switzerland), Adam Smith (USA) and Ed Felten (USA), former advisor of Barack Obama.

Publication date
8 Nov 2018

Our privacy is a fundamental right but it is threatened. Intense analysis of personal data by smart algorithms makes us transparent and predictable, and hence more vulnerable. Can our privacy be salvaged from 'intelligent' machines? On 15 November, during the CWI Lectures 2018, four renowned scientists and policy advisors will discuss the state of the art in protecting privacy, as well as the policy challenges when implementing these. Keynote speakers are: Marc Rotenberg (USA), Jan Camenisch (Switzerland),  Adam Smith (USA) and Ed Felten (USA), former advisor of Barack Obama. Participation is free after registration (note the no-show fine).

Prof. Marc Rotenberg will speak about ‘Toward an International Policy Framework for Artificial Intelligence’. He emphasizes transparency and accountability as the twin pillars of an AI policy framework. Rotenberg is President of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) in Washington, D.C. and frequently testifies before the US Congress on emerging privacy and civil liberties issues. He urged the establishment of Algorithmic Transparency as fundamental right. In 2018, EPIC launched a campaign to make the development of the US AI policy more inclusive of public concerns.

Dr. Jan Camenisch will speak on ‘Cryptography for Privacy’. With the increasing daily use of digital media and developments like public blockchains, our privacy is eroding at a fast pace. Camenisch argues that is not only a privacy issue but also a security problem. Camenisch, Head of Cryptography Research at, is a leading, award-winning scientist in the area of privacy and cryptography. He is also a co-inventor of Identity Mixer, a unique cryptographic protocol suite for privacy-preserving authentication.   

Prof. Adam Smith will speak on ‘Rigorous Foundations for Statistical Data Privacy’.  He will illustrate some challenges via recent attacks and will present differential privacy. Smith’s research interests lie in data privacy and cryptography, and their connections to machine learning, statistics, information theory, and quantum computing. He received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 2009 and the 2017 Gödel Prize.

Prof. Edward W. Felten will speak about ‘Issues in AI and Privacy’. He will consider how AI and specifically machine learning methods might affect technical and policy considerations of privacy, and the market structures surrounding data collection and access. Felten is the founding Director of Princeton's Center for Information Technology Policy and a member of the United States Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. In 2015-2017 he served in the White House as Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer and earlier he was the first Chief Technologist at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. His research interests include computer security and privacy, technology law and policy.

The CWI Lectures 2018 conference  is aimed towards a general academic audience. The programme committee for this afternoon consists of Prof. Ronald Cramer (CWI, Leiden University) and Dr. Jaap-Henk Hoepman (Radboud University, University of Groningen, Tilburg University).

The CWI Lectures on Privacy and Security will be organized on Thursday 15 November 2018 from 12-18h at the Amsterdam Science Park Congress Center in Amsterdam. Participation is free after registration. (NB Note there is a no-show fine.)


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