Monday 10 December 2018 | Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium

A workshop organised by Privacy Salon & Law Science Technology and Society (LSTS), Vrije Universiteit Brussel, supported by Open Society Foundations

This call is primarily aimed at academic researchers, civil society representatives, journalists and practitioners working in the area.

Recently there have been increased calls for scrutiny of the role that algorithms play in society. Algorithms influence life-changing decisions, yet to-date the transparency about how these models operate remain firmly limited Who is responsible for their introduction, integration, fairness and accuracy? What democratic governance structures are proposed, if made available at all? Who procures, monitors and regulates their use? What can be done about algorithmic bias? What bias beyond that is inherent to the data and algorithms do these systems produce? What are the social and ethical consequences of algorithms for individuals, groups, communities, institutions and societies?

There has been a growing discussion on the regulation of and the impact of algorithms on society for some time. However, these discussions have been driven mainly by examples from the US and have stuck to a very general level. In the discussions, algorithmic practices and their impact in Europe and more specifically in the public sector have remained rather invisible. There is a clear need for examples and voices from Europe to inform and enhance the debate about the challenges posed to societies by algorithms.

This workshop on Algorithms & Society has the following aims:

  • To understand what legal, social and ethical issues are at stake with regards to the use of algorithms and algorithmic (decision-making) systems in Europe. This includes themes such as algorithmic accountability, algorithmic governance, political economy of algorithms, fairness and transparency but also what impact the implementation of algorithms and algorithmic systems will have on societies, fundamental rights and social justice;

  • To advance the discussion on the use of algorithms in the area of predictive policing and migration policy in particular;

  • To convene the community of researchers, civil society representatives, journalists and practitioners working on the impact of algorithms and algorithmic (decision-making) systems in Europe;

  • To lay the foundation for the organisation of a larger event in 2019 which has the goal to create an interdisciplinary forum for European researchers and experts working on algorithms and automated decision-making.

We especially welcome submissions on the following topics:

  • The use of algorithms and algorithmic (decision-making) systems in the public and private sector Europe;

  • Legal, social and ethical issues at stake with regards to the use of algorithms and algorithmic (decision making) systems in Europe;

  • Case studies of the use of algorithms in the context of (Predictive) Policing in Europe;

  • Case studies of the use of algorithms in the context of European Migration Policies.

Submission instructions
You can respond to this Call for contributions by submitting a statement/abstract of max 500 words via a dedicated webpage on the EasyChair system, detailing your perspective or contribution to the workshop (please also indicate if you would like to present) using the following link:

Deadline 24 October 2018
Notifications 29 October 2018

We will continue to accept proposals for contributions on a rolling basis after the deadline.

In case of doubt regarding the suitability of a contribution to the workshop, please contact Rosamunde van Brakel, rosamunde.van.brakel(at)

Please note that we can only invite a limited number of participants. We will cover transportation and accommodation costs for those who are selected to speak and a limited number of civil society representatives.

Programming committee
Rosamunde van Brakel, LSTS Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Privacy Salon
Joris van Hoboken, LSTS Vrije Universiteit Brussel/IVIR-Universiteit van Amsterdam
Seda Gürses, ESAT Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Matthias Spielkamp, AlgorithmWatchrosa

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