#PrivacyCamp21: Draft schedule

As promised to many of you, the draft #PrivacyCamp21 schedule is out today. Read below what you can expect from the first online edition of Privacy Camp, taking place this year on 26 January 2021 from 10.00 to 16.05.

Digital rights for change: Reclaiming infrastructures, repairing the future.

With almost a decade’s legacy, this year Privacy Camp zooms in on the relations between digitalisation, digital rights and infrastructures. In response to our call for panels, we have received proposal tackling the subject from a variety of perspectives.

We are proud to present the selection of sessions that combine panel format (speakers addressing the audience) with a more interactive workshop format (speakers address + audience engagement experiences):





Room 1
(Plenary and panels)



Room 2



Room 3 (Workshops)


Opening and
STORIES of digital rights activism






A new model for consent? Rethinking consent among complex infrastructures and complex explanations

Local perspectives: E-life and e-services during the pandemic

The #ReclaimYourFace campaign: Ban biometric mass surveillance
Wiring digital justice: Embedding rights in Internet governance ‘by infrastructure’

Platform Resistance   and Data Rights

Cryptowars: The battle for encryption
Lunch break


EDPS Civil Society Summit

Lunch break


Can restorative justice help us govern online spaces?

Criminalising public spaces under biometric mass surveillance

Teach me how to hurdle: Empowering data subjects beyond the template


Algorithmic Impact Assessments

The privatised panopticon: Workers’ surveillance in the digital age


Please note this schedule is subject to changes. The final programme will be available in 21 January 2021 and offer full descriptions of the panels listed below.


Sessions draft outline

A new model for consent? Rethinking consent among complex infrastructures and complex explanations
Consent is only valid if ‘free’, ‘specific’, ‘informed’, and ‘unambiguous’. These terms cannot be taken as a simple recipe, with clearly defined ingredients and steps. In reality, consent is more fluid, and does not automatically follow from an aseptic and formal exercise of information provision or box-ticking. This panel will propose a more substantive and organic approach which includes, amongst the others, an added element of effective “comprehension” and control over the processing. It will discuss the most recent findings from the Court of Justice of the EU, but also the position of the European Commission in the proposed Data Governance Act, and issues around a so-called ‘common European data altruism consent’.  The suggested contextual approach would find that most of the consent given online could be invalid, especially in situations of extremely complex processing operations.

Local perspectives: e-life and e-services during the pandemic
This panel will explore the key trends linked to the digitalisation of our lives after the Covid-19 outbreak, and explore the outside factors that have influenced the level of respect of our basic digital rights in Southeast and Central Europe. With the excuse of ‘flattening the curve’, governments in the region have undertaken extreme measures that have severely affected media freedom, as well as privacy of individualsin general and of the most vulnerable groups in particular. While states were implementing different tech solutions to overcome the existing challenges without any strategy,citizens were left without effective protection in the digital arena. This panel will discuss which lessons have been learned, and how can be improved prevention and protection mechanisms in regards to the basic privacy rights in the region.

The #ReclaimYourFace campaign: Ban biometric mass surveillance
The objective of this workshop is to create an empowering space of collective learning, exploration and resistance aimed at preserving the public voice and collective public rights and freedoms in the public space. The outcome will be that attendees are more informed about tangible acts of resistance already being taken to resist biometric mass surveillance (and how to get involved), as well as a greater understanding of the societal and political reasons why this is so important.

Wiring digital justice: Embedding rights in Internet governance ‘by infrastructure’
In this panel, we seek to engage a conversation on how the language of rights and freedoms can be translated in the language and materiality of infrastructures, and what the complexities are that arise from this process. Particular attention will be paid to the different types of organizations and configurations in which the ’embedding’ of freedoms into infrastructure takes shape, from the arenas of more ‘traditional’ Internet governance to grassroots and activist-led initiatives. We also seek to unveil the variety of motivations subtending these phenomena, ranging from specific and institutionalized political agendas to technical innovation and experimentation, often linked to particular imaginaries and visions of society.

Platform Resistance and Data Rights
This panel aims to situate data rights within the broader toolbox for resisting platform power over group dynamics. The overall objective is to explore whether, how, and to what degree, data rights can and should be used as collective tools for digital infrastructure resistance. As a concrete outcome of this panel, we hope to identify the essential parameters/constraints to ensure a constructive and systemic approach to using data rights as tools for platform resistance.

The EDPS civil society summit
EDRi members and other important actors in civil society will meet the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) for a discussion around the wider consequences of the data intensive business models of dominant tech companies. Corporations which started as search engines and social media platforms are now exercising significant influence in healthcare, education and public administration. Others have become indispensable to a huge number of business users or to enable work processes. Some other big tech companies, dictate the terms of our social interactions, and occupy the public space of freedom of expression and formulation of political opinions. This power grabbing has further intensified the power and “indispensability” of big tech companies as platforms but also as service providers, decision-makers, and gatekeepers. Who is in the end paying the costs of the societal shift of changing control of public infrastructures?

Cryptowars: The battle for encryption
During this panel we would like to include voices of those voices who could be affected by undermining encryption which are not the usual privacy experts. Human rights defenders, child rights organisations and journalists at risk use encryption to protect themselves and others. Meanwhile, voices in the European Union call for “technical solutions” to solve the “problem” that law enforcement officers encounter when preventing or investigating crimes. Who else cares about encryption, anyway?

Can Restorative Justice Help Us Govern Online Spaces ?
In order to build alternative models to moderate and regulate speech online, the field of restorative justice has been identified as potential inspiration for online challenges. Restorative justice is a framework coming out of the prison abolition movement and some indigenous ways of dealing with harming communities and tries to think about the needs of all actors involved: the person who’s done the harm, the person who’s been harmed, and other members of the community. This panel aims to bring this discussion to the table and explore the ways how the principles of
restorative justice can inspire the future of alternative content dispute resolution online

Criminalising public spaces under biometric mass surveillance
Biometric surveillance systems in public spaces treat us as if we may all be a criminal. These data-driven systems use technology to encode stereotypes, biases and judgements about what sort of behaviour is considered “normal”, and what is not. This can start to influence, police and transform how we act and how we feel, and have a devastating impact on anyone that does not conform.

Teach me how to hurdle: Empowering data subjects beyond the template
Data subjects wishing to exercise their rights face a variety of obstacles. Some derive from their own limited knowledge on applicable rules. Many, however, are due to data controllers’ problematic responses – or lack of response – to requests, which can leave even the most advanced and confident data subject in a state of perplexity, helplessness, or despair. This workshop will explore ways in which individuals can self-organise and help each other, or help others in their community, for the exercise of data protection rights. It is organised in connection with the Repair Cafés for Digital Rights – BXL initiative.

Algorithmic Impact Assessments
This panel will focus on the role of Algorithmic Impact Assessments in regulating AI and protecting people from algorithmic harm. Panelists will dive into the types of Assessments that have been deployed worldwide, what value they can bring to systems of oversight, and the potential risks posed by relying on assessments to combat unique harms semi- automated states create. It will help attendees reflect on what can make these assessments effective, and consider the implications of requiring assessments for public and private use, but also invite them to think about how assessments can fit into the broader efforts to regulate AI.

The Privatised Panopticon: Workers’ surveillance in the digital age
During this panel we aim at discussing the current trends of surveillance at the workplace and the role of trade unions to enforce and defend digital rights. With Amazon as the prime, thought not the only suspect, we will explore other cases in the EU where the interaction of trade unions and digital rights are crucial.

Are you interested in participating? Make sure to register before 24 January 2021.