Privacy with missing links?

New rules should protect EU citizens' fundamental right to privacy more effectively. At the same time, technologies are generating more and more data that promise ever deeper insights into our lives. Is our privacy still sufficiently protected or are there missing links?

Individually tailored entertainment, apps designed to encourage a healthier lifestyle - we are constantly confronted with a wide range of services. To whom our data is passed on, how it is combined and analysed is very difficult, if at all, to understand. We do not have sufficient control over this, despite the rules that came into force in May 2018 with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Making information understandable

The aim of the EU project PANELFIT is to identify these gaps and to develop proposals on how to close them. Researchers and engineers will receive guidance on how to contribute to the ethical development and use of new information and communication technologies (ICTs). Citizens should be better informed about their rights, involving media professionals. Finally, publicly available guidelines can help consumers to better deal with ethical and legal problems arising from information and communication technologies.

Safety and Cybersecurity

The ITA is mainly responsible for the topics security and cybersecurity. "These areas are particularly difficult to regulate as states and citizens often have conflicting interests: To protect against terrorism and to secure critical infrastructures, state authorities often demand unrestricted access to information, often without justifying the necessity and efficiency of such access. The security of citizens also includes the protection of their fundamental rights, the core of which is the protection of their data, not least as a precaution against state arbitrariness. How secure we feel in our society is not a question of the use of surveillance technologies. Social aspects play a more important role", says Johann Čas, who is in charge of the project at the ITA.

Participation and information

PANELFIT will develop its results in participatory processes together with experts (from the fields of R&D, ethics, regulation) and citizens. On an interactive communication platform, scientists, media representatives, citizens and political decision-makers will be able to inform and exchange information. The results will also be available via social media and online courses and workshops.


Official PANELFIT website



By: Denise Riedlinger

Security and Cyber Security are the ITA focal points of the PANELFIT project. (Image: CC0)