Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Seminar 6 Lachlan Urquhart Position Statement

Making Privacy by Design a Reality?

Lachlan Urquhart

Mixed Reality Laboratory & Horizon Digital Economy CDT, University of Nottingham

We have developed a tool that aims to take the principle of data protection by design from theory into practice. Article 23 of the General Data Protection (DP) Reform Package (GDPR) mandates data protection by design and default (DPbD). This requires system designers to be more involved in data protection regulation, early on in the innovation process. Whilst this idea makes sense, we need better tools to help designers actually meet their new regulatory obligations. [1]

Guidance on what DPbD actually requires in practice is sparse, although work from usable privacy and security or privacy engineering does provide some guidance [5, 6]. These may favour technical measures like anonymisation or tools to increase user control over their personal data [7]; or organisational approaches like privacy impact assessments. [2]

By calling on design to be part of regulation, it is calling upon the system design community, one that is not ordinarily trained or equipped to deal with regulatory issues. Law is not intuitive or accessible to non-lawyers, yet by calling for privacy by design, the law is mandating non-lawyers be involved in regulatory practices. We argue that there is a need to engage, sensitise and guide designers on data protection issues on their own terms.

Presenting a non-legal community with legislation, case law or principles framed in complex, inaccessible legalese is not a good starting point. Instead, a truly multidisciplinary approach is required to translate legal principles from law to design. In our case, we bring together information technology law and human computer interaction. [4]

Our data protection by design cards are an ideation technique that helps designers explore the unfamiliar or challenging issues of EU DP law. [8] Our cards focus on the newly passed GDPR, which comes into effect in 2018. They are designed to be sufficiently lightweight for deployment in a range of design contexts eg connected home ecosystems or smart cars. We have been testing them through workshops with teams of designers in industry and education contexts: we are trying to understand the utility of the cards as a privacy by design tool. [9]

A further challenge for privacy by design goes beyond how to communicate regulatory requirements to communities unfamiliar with the law and policy landscape. Whilst finding mechanisms for delivering complex content in more accessible ways is one issue, like our cards, finding the best forums for engagement with these concepts is another. Two examples could be the role of state regulators and industry/professional associations. State regulatory bodies, like the UK ICO or EU Article 29 Working Party, have a role to play in broadcasting compliance material and supporting technology designers’ understanding of law and regulation. The needs of each business will vary, and support has to adapt accordingly. One example could be the size and resources a business has at its disposal. It is highly likely these will dictate how much support they needed to understand regulatory requirements e.g. an under resourced Small or Medium-sized Enterprise vs. a multinational with in-house legal services. 

Industry and professional associations, like British Computer Society, Association for Computing Machinery or the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers may be suitable forums for raising awareness with members about the importance of regulation too. Sharing best practice is a key element of this, and these organisations are in a good position to feed their experience into codes of practice, like those suggested by Art 40 GDPR. 

[1] – L Urquhart and E Luger “Smart Cities: Creative Compliance and the Rise of ‘Designers as Regulators’” (2015) Computers and Law 26(2)
[2] – D Wright and P De Hert Privacy Impact Assessment (2012 Springer)
[3] – A29 WP “Opinion 8/2014 on the recent Developments on the Internet of Things” WP 233
[4] –  We are conducting a project in the EU and US involving researchers from: University of Nottingham (Tom Rodden, Neha Gupta, Lachlan Urquhart),Microsoft Research Cambridge (Ewa Luger, Mike Golembewski), Intel (Jonathan Fox), Microsoft (Janice Tsai), University of California Irvine (Hadar Ziv) and New York University (Lesley Fosh and Sameer Patil).
EU project page and cards are available at designingforprivacy.co.uk
[5] – J Hong “Usable Privacy and Security: A Grand Challenge for HCI” (2009) Human Computer Interaction Institute
[6] – Danezis et al “Privacy and Data Protection by Design– from policy to engineering” (2014) ENISA; M Dennedy, J Fox and T Finneran “Privacy Engineer’s Manifesto” (2014) Apress; S Spiekermann and LF Cranor “Engineering Privacy” (2009) IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering 35 (1)
[7] – H Haddadi et al “Personal Data: Thinking Inside the Box”(2015) 5th Decennial Aarhus Conferences; R Mortier et al “Human -Data Interaction: The Human Face of the Data Driven Society”(2014) http://hdiresearch.org/
[8] IDEO https://www.ideo.com/work/method-cards; M Golembewski and M Selby “Ideation Decks: A Card Based Ideation Tool” (2010) Proceedings of ACM DIS ’10, Aarhus, Denmarkhttps://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1858189
[9] E Luger, L Urquhart, T Rodden, M Golembewski “Playing the Legal Card” (2015) Proceedings of ACM CHI ’15, Seoul, S Korea

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