Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Back at the blog — and a job vacancy to fill!


This is the first entry to the blog in two months, and first of all I have to apologize for not writing earlier. Lots of interesting things have been happening in the area of privacy, from EU decisions about cooperation and data sharing in law enforcement to Germany debating online-searches of citizens' personal computers to a leading UK police officer expressing fears about the impact of CCTV to the Privacy International ranking of Internet Service Companies to the EU and USA agreeing on a new data sharing deal for flight passenger data.


But closer to home, things have been rather frantic, and that has kept me busy. The two main things were


  • an international workshop on the subject of "Privacy and Information: Modes of Regulation" that I conducted with my colleague Charles Raab (Edinburgh University) under the auspices of the European Consortium for Political Research in Helsinki. Our call for papers drew an international and interdisciplinary response, and Charles and I were very happy with the papers presented and the discussions that ensued in the week in Helsinki. Another memorable thing is that our stay in Helsinki coincided with the finale of the European Song Contest, which meant that while hotel rooms were at a premium, we were entertained by loud music and the sight of hordes of international fans supporting their home music teams! If you are interested in the papers presented at the workshop, you will eventually be able to find them at the ECPR website's list of workshops. Our workshop is number 26, so you have to scroll all the way down. We hope to produce a publication in a special issue of an academic journal, or in a book from this.

  • The other big news is that the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) has granted me an award for a two year project on research into privacy policy. The project will run for two years and will eventually have its own website to disseminate information. For the time being, there is a small project page on my website that has a brief description of the project (the full title is "Coping with innovation: The regulation of personal information in comparative perspective", and it will compare the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Sweden across three topics of regulatory policy: RFID chips, CCTV cameras, and biometric passports).


But most importantly, I have a postdoc position to fill for that project. The deadline for applications is 6 July, so if you're interested, hurry up! You can find details about the tasks, remuneration etc. via the links at the project page. The job will be based in the Department of Politics and International Relations of Oxford University, one of the leading politics departments in Europe. So, if you know of someone who might fit the bill, please forward this information and encourage them to apply!


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