US-NL privacy research in the cyber domain

November 6, 2015

On 2 and 3 October2015 an international workshop was held in Washington D.C. on privacy research in the cyber domain. For this workshop, jointly funded and organised by the US National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), about one dozen scientists per country were invited both from the United States and from the Netherlands.

Supported by NSF and NWO, Alessandro Acquisti from Carnegie Mellon University and Jaap-Henk Hoepman from Radboud University and PI-Lab drew the outlines of the workshop program. Given the interdisciplinary nature of this type of research, scientists skilled in areas like computer science, legal, ethical, social, and economic aspects of privacy were invited to participate. The objective of the workshop was to help build long-term research collaboration among scientists from the two countries, who are studying technical and social aspects of privacy in relation to cyberspace.

Participants to the workshop US-NL privacy research in the cyber domain 2-3 October 2015

On the first day of the workshop participants first presented their own ongoing research. Slides of these introductory presentations will be published soon. After the introduction participants were engaged in tasks designed to stimulate the formation of teams of United States - Netherlands researchers. Several rounds of “speed dating“ were held including a brainstorm on novel research ideas.

Specifically, the second day included discussions in four break‐out groups generating ideas for research proposals based on four different research topics and/or determining whether topics are missing. Initial topics were: ‘identity on the digital stage’, ‘beyond data minimisation’, ‘the confluence of the real and the virtual’, and ‘understanding and constructing privacy’. These topics, combined with topics formulated during the workshop could be a starting point for collaborative research.

The ultimate goal was to form mixed groups of United States and Dutch scholars who by the end of the workshop produced  joint research outlines, with the potential to grow into full proposals to be submitted to a NSF-NWO Call for Proposals.

Formal basis for this joint Call for Proposal is a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the NSF and the NWO. From a thematic point of view this call is associated with themes 1 and 5 of the Dutch National Cyber Security Research Agenda (NCSRA II), basis for NWO’s cybersecurity program, and the Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) program of the NSF.