ORGCon Scotland 2019 Programme

Join us Saturday 26 October in Edinburgh for an exploration of Scotland’s pressing digital rights issues like government identity systems, police cyber kiosks and biometrics oversight. We’ll also consider broader topics like the adTech industry’s abuse of personal data and the social impact of technology and its effects on the democratic process.

Reserve your ticket here.

Time Main Room (THINKING) Breakout Room (DOING) VIRT-EU Room
 9:00  Registration CLOSED CLOSED
 9:45-10:30  Welcome & Keynote: Scotland's Digital Agenda CLOSED CLOSED
 10:40-11:40  Digital Identity in Scotland: How to meet the needs of all citizens?

The Tech-tionary: Unpacking tech definitions for the benefit of society

Metadata privacy and the Internet of Things (IoT)
 11:50-12:50  Seizing the Future: Police Scotland's powers to seize and examine electronic devices Data & Democracy: Who do they think you are? Pivot Strategy: Making Ethics intelligible and negotiable
 14:00-15:00  Turning online advertising inside out Improving the right to data portability The Pivot Moment in Ethical Decision-Making
 15:10-16:00  How should we approach the social impact of technology? Eating cookies: Understanding trackers and addressing the misconceptions Negotiating Ethics
 16:10-16:40  Wrap up CLOSED CLOSED



A mixture of thought provoking panels and discussions where experts in their respective fields sit down for panel discussions, interviews, and addresses. Come along if you want to spend some time thinking through some of the most pressing challenges of our time.


A series of hands-on interactive sessions that will have participants on their feet and thinking out loud. Come along to learn new skills, explore issues in groups, and start new conversations with new allies.


The Values and Ethics in Innovation for Responsible Technology in Europe project which ORG has been a part of asks how European IoT innovators and developers make consequential decisions. This room will hold discussions and interactive sessions throughout the day to explore the outcomes of the project and discuss the social and ethical issues that arise from the Internet of Things and sensor-based networks development.

9am - 9:45am Registration

Main Room (THINKING)

9:45 - 10:30 Scotland's Digital Agenda

Introduction by:

Jim Killock Executive Director Open Rights Group

Keynote - Scotland's Digital Agenda by:

Patrick Harvie MSP Co-leader of the Scottish Green Party

10:40 - 11:40 Digital ID in Scotland

This panel will explore the practical and philosophical approaches to identity in Scotland and beyond. Like other governments, the Scottish Government is working to understand how they can create identity systems that provide choice without compromising privacy. The programme’s Government and technology partners will join experts in the field of identity and data privacy law to ask:

What is the way forward on identity? How is Scotland meeting the competing needs of its citizens? How does an individual assert their identity while preserving their privacy and dignity?


Aggelos Kiayias University of Edinburgh
Lesley Allen Strategic Lead Digital Identity Scotland
Robert Clubb Improvement Service)
Heather Burns COADEC fellow, data privacy expert

Moderator Ross Kelly Correspondent

11:50 - 12:50 Seizing the Future: Police Scotland's powers to seize and examine electronic devices

As more of our lives are captured within our electronic devices, they become a deeply important tool in the investigation and prosecution of crime. Police Scotland are rolling out cyber kiosks to assist in the investigation of crimes and to support the efforts to deliver justice in Scotland. A panel of forensics experts, human rights advocates, and representatives of Police Scotland’s kiosk team will consider questions like:

How do we balance the power for police to seize and examine property against the right to privacy? How much do we know about the information stored on our devices? What are the proper safeguards to put in place to prevent abuse? How does this operate in a model of policing by consent?


Basil Manoussas Napier University forensics expert
Tatora Mukushi Scottish Human Rights Commission
Clare Connelly Compass Chambers
Liz Aston Scottish Institute for Policing Research

Moderator Dr. Angela Daly Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Strathclyde

13:00 - 14:00 Lunch

14:00 - 15:00 Turning online advertising inside out

Advertising technology (AdTech) systems broadcast the public’s personal data to thousands of companies who use it to track users across the internet and build sophisticated profiles for marketing purposes. After being declared unlawful by under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the practice still persists. Meanwhile, micro-targeting by political actors and campaign groups are being blamed for the fracturing of political discourse. What is the future of adtech and who is shaping that future?


Daniel Winterstein is the CEO of Good Loop, the “ethical advertising agency” committed to empowering people to be in control of their data and being transparent in their systems for processing personal data

Michael Veale is a Lecturer in Digital Rights and Regulation at the Faculty of Laws, University College London. He is part of a challenge to adtech’s Real Time Bidding (RTB) framework. Michael’s work focuses on the intersection of law, emerging technology, public policy and society.

Moderator Amy Shepherd Legal and Policy Officer, Open Rights Group

15:10 - 16:00 How should we approach the social impact of technology?

Join faculty members of the University of Edinburgh in a live ethics assessment of the research and design of groundbreaking technology.

University of Edinburgh Faculty Members Catherine Lai and Walid Magdy will present actual research proposals which have gone through an ethical assessment, and Maria Wolters will lead an interactive discussion by the audience through what that assessment looks like. The audience will decide where they stand on the ethics of the proposed research.


Maria Wolters Senior Reader in Design Informatics, University of Edinburgh
Catherline Lai Senior Researcher, Institute for Language and Computation, University of Edinburgh
Walid Magdy Lecturer, School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh.

16:10 - 16:40 Wrap up


Breakout Room (DOING)

9:45 - 10:30 CLOSED

10:40 - 11:40 The Tech-tionary - Unpacking tech definitions for the benefit of society

You can’t get involved in a conversation if you don’t understand what the conversation is about.

The purpose of this session is to begin co-creating a technology dictionary (Tech-tionary) to help charities and technologists better understand technology terms. The Tech-tionary would serve as a way to get everyone more involved in digital rights and for those conversations to go further through a shared understanding of what people mean when they talk tech. 

The DADI Foundation is an organisation created to enable technology to directly further the cause of democracy, seeking to contribute through education, grants and research by facilitating the exchange of knowledge and skills between communities.

What you will need:

3 technologies / technological terms that if clearly defined would help you get involved in a conversation about digital rights.

What you will learn:

For technologists - learn about terms that others find confusing in your work and help contribute to a shared Tech-tionary.

For others - Get those terms you have no idea what they refer to defined!


Jennifer Martin-Nye, Chief Executive DADI Foundation

Alice Firebrace, Project Manager DADI Foundation

11:50 - 12:50 Data and Democracy - Who Do They Think You Are?

Subject Access Requests (SARS) are a gateway right. They allow you to ask someone who holds your personal data to provide you with a copy of that personal data. But just what sort of information should you expect to receive? What will companies normally do to respond to these requests? What powers do you have to demand further information?

This session is going to explore just how far a subject access request can take you - and what happened when Open Rights Group staff made subject access requests to reveal what personal data political parties are holding about us.

Michael Veale is a Lecturer in Digital Rights and Regulation at the Faculty of Laws, University College London. He regularly uses his subject access rights to reveal the practices of different data controllers and has used it to generate complaints, media attention and change practices.

Pascal Crowe is Data and Democracy Project Officer at Open Rights Group. He has been using subject access requests to reveal what personal data political parties are holding about the population of the UK.

What you will learn:
How to make subject access request
What information you can request
What you will likely receive (and how to respond to the companies and public bodies).

13:00 - 14:00 Lunch

14:00 - 15:00 Improving the right to Data Portability 

Data Portability was a new right established in the General Data Protection Regulation. It allowed individuals to obtain and reuse their personal data for their own purposes across different services.

Tristan Henderson and Janis Wong from St Andrews University sent 230 real-world data portability requests to test out this new right. This session will present the results of that research discuss what they found in these requests, what worked, what didn’t, what needs to be fixed to make this right meaningful.

Just how easy is it to exercise this right? Is it going to make us all empowered consumers taking our data to new services? What can we do to improve this new right for everyone?


Tristan Henderson Senior Lecturer School of Computer Science St Andrews University

Janis Wong Research Student School of Computer Science St Andrews University

Learn how to make a data portability request:
- Who to make the request to
- What to expect to receive
- What you can do with the data received

Help set new advocacy and research agendas:
- What would you want to see in a data portability framework?
- What would make data portability useful for you as a consumer in practice?
- What does interoperability mean for you?

15:10 - 16:00 Eating cookies: Understanding trackers and addressing the misconceptions

Kami Vaneia Lecturer in Cybersecurty and Privacy, University of Edinburgh's School of Informatics

16:10 - 16:40 CLOSED



VIRT-EU stands for Values and Ethics in Responsible Technology in Europe and is a European project involving Open Rights Group that is dedicated to developing an ethical framework for Internet of Things (IoT) developers.

9:45 - 10:30 CLOSED

10:40 - 11:40 Metadata Privacy and the Internet of Things (IoT)

Tariq Elahi Lecturer in Security and Internet of Things (IoT)

Today, our private and sensitive communications over the Internet, such as chat messages or online purchases, are encrypted to keep them confidential. However, encryption can not protect the context of the communications, such as when or to whom the message was sent. Privacy enhancing technologies (PETs) can provide this protection, both for people and things communicating over networks.

Haoyu Liu, PhD Student, School of Informatics 

The popularity of smart home devices is growing as consumers come to recognise their potential to improve the quality of domestic life. However, severe security flaws have been uncovered over recent years, which threatens user privacy and can even cause financial loss. In this talk, we will present our findings of the security vulnerabilities in the Belkin WeMo home automation systems, and give audiences an in-depth look of the impact of those vulnerabilities on people's daily life.

11:50 - 12:50 Pivot Strategy: Making Ethics Intelligible and Negotiable

This workshop invites participants to reflect on key ethical decision-making moments in technology design. It aims to put different ethical theories in action and move beyond mere consequentialist approaches. As such, it will explore themes such as sustainability, social good and business-with-purpose. The workshop is designed around starting up a tech company where all the participants will be invited to take an active role and participate as we take key ‘pivotal’ decisions to move the company from its fledgling ideation stage to funding rounds. We invite everyone who is interested in thinking about ethics, responsible technology and bottom-up-approaches to technology design.


Funda Ustek Spilda London School of Economics
Javier Ruiz Open Rights Group Policy Director

This study was funded by the University of Glasgow, Human Data Interaction (HDI) Funding, award number 174544, PIs: Funda Ustek-Spilda and Alison Powell.


13:00 - 14:00 Lunch
14:00 - 15:00 

14:00-15:00 The Pivot Moment in Ethical Decision Making

This workshop is about identifying key ethical decision-making moments in technology design and developing ethical reflection in general. It will present ways of thinking about ethics and technology design beyond consequentialist and utilitarian approaches and explore themes such as sustainability, social good, transparency and usability.

In this first part of the two-workshop series, the focus will be on the 'legibility' and 'explainability' of technology design.


Dr. Funda Ustek-Spilda London School of Economics

15:10 - 16:00 

15:10-16:00 Negotiating Ethics

In this workshop, which will build on the previous workshop (though all are welcome even if they have not attended the first workshop), we will look at agency and negotiation as part of the ethical design process. We will be pivoting the different job roles, technical skills, political, economic and social contexts to explore how individual and group-level ethical reflection can be reflected in technological design.


Dr. Funda Ustek-Spilda London School of Economics

16:10 - 16:40 CLOSED