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Participatory Approaches to a New Ethical and Legal Framework for ICT

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PANELFIT (Participatory Approaches to a New Ethical and Legal Framework for ICT)

Période du rapport: 2018-11-01 au 2020-01-31

Changes to the EU’s regulations regarding ICT-based research and innovation are creating a new scenario, one to which researchers, innovators, stakeholders, policymakers and citizens must adapt - as soon as possible. This is likely to be difficult, however. PANELFIT, a European Commission research project, is facilitating this adaptation process. Specifically, the project's aims are to:
- facilitate the implementation of European data protection new regulation by producing a set of outcomes that serve as operational standards and practical guidelines able to reduce the ethical and legal issues posed by ICT technologies, while promoting innovation and market growth, enabling high-quality job creation and ensuring a high level of privacy and security/cybersecurity.
- suggest possible concrete improvements to the current regulatory and governance framework for the same purpose
- create mutual learning and support tools and to promote networking among stakeholders and policymakers
- increase the quantity and quality of the information available to policy makers, professionals, journalists and general public.

Through the materials produced by the project, PANELFIT will provide the information that citizens, scientists and researchers need to take advantage of the protections offered by the new EU regulations.
"The project has been able to satisfactorily deal with the production of the deliverables corresponding to the reviewing period. Likewise, the activities have generally been carried out in accordance with the deadline set out in the Grant Agreement. The only exceptions to this rule are those concerning the Mutual Learning Platform, which should be ready by now, but has been considerably delayed due to the departure of Texelia from the consortium. However, this is not at present a question that creates major problems in the implementation of our activities.
The deliverables produced by PANELFIT have been elaborated following the methodology foreseen. Among all of them, those related to ""Issues and Gaps Analysis"" (D21, D31 and D41) and the ""Advanced Draft of The Guidelines"" (D58) stand out. The first three deliverables were built in a period of three phases. After some time dedicated to desktop work, the WP leaders organized a workshop with eight experts that was held in Bilbao in June 2019. The invited speakers working together with PANELFIT members identified the major issues and gaps at stake. On this basis, a draft of the report was carefully redacted and delivered to the contractor in September 2019. Afterwards, the draft was exposed to a group of twenty experts gathered in a workshop held in Madrid in March 2020. According to their suggestions, new versions of the deliverables were constructed, so as to improve the original drafts. These improved documents were finally sent to the contractor on May 2020. At the present moment, we continue working to complete them with the parts corresponding to the ethical issues related to the use of data in ICT research and innovation.
The case of The Guidelines is quite different. From the very beginning of PANELFIT, The Guidelines were meant to be a useful tool for researchers and innovator working in the ICT field. However, it was quite difficult to arrive into way that served well to this purpose. Several different approaches were proposed and we spent a lot of time (probably too much time) walking around this issue. At the present moment, The Guidelines have been considerably improved. They are composed by different sections, corresponding to different topics, such as the GDPR fundamental actions and tools, the main concepts, principles or actors or the key rights of the data subjects. Together with this, we have developed a section devoted to support end-users in their day-to-day activities. At the present moment, we are working on the contents of all these different sections. Some of them (such as the fundamental actions and tools, the main concepts or the day-to-day activities) are almost completed. Some other are still in their first stages, but they will be ready in due time.
This general part of The Guidelines is complemented by thematic sections devoted to some particularly relevant technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Geolocation, Biometrics, Internet of Things and Social media. During the period under review, we have been able to develop a pilot section devoted to AI. This is organized in two different ways. On the one hand, we provide researchers with an approach based on the seven requirements made by the High-Level Expert Group on AI (HLEG AI) in their Ethics guidelines for trustworthy AI. This is meant to be a more theoretical part, aimed at allowing them to understand the legal issues at stake. On the other hand, we have built an alternative approach. We introduce suggestions on how to deal with data protection issues during the different stages that might be described in an AI development lifecycle. In this way, we complement the work already performed by our colleagues of the SHERPA project, who endorse this structure to provide advice from an ethical point of view. In the future, we will use our extensive consultation to ensure that these practical advices work well with the need of the end users of The Guidelines. At the present moment, we are starting to build the part of The Guidelines that refers to geolocation and biometrics. On the basis of these first experiences, we will start working on the last two technologies, namely Internet of Things and Social Media."
Finally, we would like to highlight that PANELFIT is producing a deep impact in different areas.
• First, wWe are contributing to public debate on the use of data through several publications in mass media, including journals such as El Mundo or Il Corriere de la Sera. We have also intervened in TV reports, radio programmes. Finally, we are organizing monthly chats with experts on the topics at stake.
• Second, we are fueling the policy making by promoting public calls for action in terms of defense of data protection, but also through our participation in important actions, such as the EUHealthSupport Consortium, or by the redaction of reports at the request of public authorities, such as the Spanish Ministry of health
• Third, we are contributing to disseminate the knowledge of data protection issues by organizing successive MOC courses on this topic that are attracting the attention of a large number of students
• Four, we have organized a huge number of panels in high impact conferences, such as the CPDP, several workshops and webinars, and participated in event such as the final conference of the ENERI project.
• Five, our dissemination events are gathering an impressively positive response by the data protection community. A huge number of stakeholders and academics (75) have already participated in our events and some more are willing to participate in our extensive consultation process and our final conferences (100)
• Furthermore, we are producing a set of valuable academic papers that have or will be published in high impact journals. Therefore, we are particularly satisfied with our communication and dissemination activities.