A Vertical System for Ethical Certification of Personal Data Research

Access to data, and the inferences such access allows, present great opportunities for solving complex societal problems, but also entail risks to privacy and freedom. Recognizing this, researchers and governments alike moved away from the original ideal of “Open Data” and important efforts have been made to improve data protection and control over analytics, with the EU leading the way, through the GDPR and the Digital Services Act. However, these necessary concerns and legislation should not lead to unnecessary bureaucratic burdens, hindering research and innovation. For example, Portugal has been a front-runner in promoting collaboration between academia and public

By |September 14, 2022|Tags: , , |

Privacy and Disinformation

“When you look at the Internet, the Internet looks back at you.”Kernighan, B. W. (2017). Understanding the digital world. Princeton University Press, p. 321 There are a couple of questions which have been bugging some of us here at SPAC. In the era of the personalized web, how does the browsing experience of an avid consumer of fake news differ from that of another person? More specifically, how does it affect the third-party content displayed in websites? And does a disinformation-filled browser history lead to different search engine results? In this blog post I will briefly discuss

By |November 30, 2021|Tags: , |

Why do we believe in false information?

In the 2016 campaign leading to Brexit, the following statement was placed on the side of a bus: “We send the EU £350 million a week. Let’s fund our NHS instead.” This claim was refuted by the UK statistics authority, but a survey conducted two years later found that about 67% of the referendum voters had heard the misleading claim and, of those, 42% still believed it to be true. The political use of misleading and even outright false information is nothing new but the main issue, now as in the past, is that these false claims may influence people’s

By |November 24, 2021|Tags: , |

Navegar à vista

Maybe there are some biological bases to the fear of the unknown. Astrology, runes, religion, predictive models, we come up with all sorts of things to make the unknown a little bit more foreseeable. For millennia we have been trying to control our fates and it can be argued that our lives are now more predictable than ever. Life expectancy has increased sharply; most of the “developed world” has low criminality rates, some form of social security, insurance(s). And, like it or not, we are predictable. In a series of studies using mobility data (mostly from cell-phones, mostly without users

By |April 13, 2020|Tags: |
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