New EU-funded research and innovation project kicks off in Coventry, with CIIRC CTU as one of the partners

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CSI-COP (Citizen Scientists Investigating Cookies and App GDPR compliance) is a 30-month project which started in January 2020. It will leverage citizen science in collaboration with a transdisciplinary team to investigate tracking-by-default in website cookies (small text files) and smartphone apps.

A consortium of eleven partners from Greece, Hungary, The Netherlands, Finland, Israel, Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, Belgium and the UK has secured an EU Horizon 2020 grant under the Science with and for Society (SwafS) programme.  Led by Coventry University, project coordinator, a two-day kick-off meeting of the project partners will be hosted in Coventry joined by the project’s Advisory Board of international experts. CIIRC CTU is represented by prof. Olga Štepánková and Ing. Lenka Vysloužilová, PhD. from Biomedical Engineering and Assistive Technology department.

Principal Investigator on the project, Professor Neil Forbes said: “CSI-COP will help to tackle the growing concerns in society around privacy issues and make a major contribution to the methods that attempt to ensure integrity in the use of data.”

Co-Investigator and project Director of Science, Dr. Huma Shah, said: “The idea for the project came from researching and teaching artificial intelligence, creativity, and the ethical and social contexts of technologies to undergraduate and post-graduate students at Coventry University.”

A privacy-by-design, no-tracking project website is currently under development and expected to go live by the end of March 2020. More information on the CSI-COP project can be found here: https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/873169

About CSI-COP

CSI-COP (Citizen Scientists Investigating Cookies and App GDPR compliance) is a research and innovation consortium with 11 project partners from 10 EU Member States and Associated Countries. The 30-month project started in January 2020 and will leverage citizen science in collaboration with a transdisciplinary team to investigate tracking-by-default in website cookies (small text files) and smartphone apps.

Hidden trackers extract personally identifiable information (such as an IP address, location, name, gender, birthday, credit card details, travel information) from individuals navigating the web and using a variety of smartphone apps (healthcare, transport, games, entertainment). Through informal education, including free-to-attend face-to-face workshops in accessible venues across Europe, and a free online course (MOOC) available worldwide, citizen scientists and members of the general public will find out about the purpose of different cookies, and app trackers. Citizen scientists will learn about, and become privacy champions of, the latest protections and privacy rights accorded under the general data protection regulation (GDPR). Citizen scientists across Europe and beyond will collaborate with AI research scientists, technology and privacy lawyers, gender experts, historians, philosophers, citizen science, digital humanities and open science experts, to build a web-based open-access knowledge-resource detailing the extent of tracking-by-default. This innovation will reveal the types of trackers (third-party, Facebook, etc.) and targeted profiles (children playing digital games; teenagers seeking friends, women’s and men’s health problems) across a range of websites and in smartphone apps.

CSI-COP press and media contact:
Dr. Huma Shah, Director of Science CSI-COP
Email: ab7778@coventry.ac.uk
Mobile: +447974984534
Project Twitter account: @csi-cop
Project website: csi-cop.eu (under construction)