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Published: 10 October 2017  
Related theme(s) and subtheme(s)
Information societyInformation technology  |  Internet
Research policyHorizon 2020
Science in societyFuture science & technology
Countries involved in the project described in the article
Denmark  |  Greece  |  Italy  |  Luxembourg  |  Serbia  |  Sweden  |  Switzerland  |  United Kingdom
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Better privacy protection online

How safe is your personal data? How do you know? With our various connected devices, our extensive browsing histories and all the apps running on our smartphones, it's hard to keep tabs on the details we might be making available willingly or unwittingly. An EU-funded project has set out to help people monitor and control their privacy online.

Image of hand with phone

© Production Perig - fotolia.com

The Privacy Flag project, launched in May 2015 for three years, is developing a privacy monitoring and protection solution to help citizens keep their personal data safe. One of this solution's key features is that it will highlight the level of risk to users' privacy in a variety of situations.

More specifically, the system involves three tools intended for citizens - a browser add-on, an app, and a website accessible via another app. They are designed, respectively, for use on computers, on smartphones, and in locations where systems have been deployed as part of the Internet of Things (IoT), in view of the development of smart cities. The Privacy Flag system will include monitoring agents to detect suspicious activity, privacy enablers to counter traffic monitoring and fingerprinting, and a risk assessment tool based on European norms on personal data protection.

The proposed solution will build on technical know-how, legal expertise, and the power of the collective: crowdsourcing is a cornerstone of the approach championed by Privacy Flag. The project's various tools draw on a knowledge database to which users are invited to contribute their own assessments of sites, apps and IoT-enabled settings.

Further activity in the project focuses on collaboration with standardisation bodies, and on ways to support businesses and other stakeholders that wish to upgrade their practices with regard to privacy. Objectives in this area encompass a voluntary compliance commitment tool, as well as activities to explore the potential for a privacy labelling and certification process.

Project details

  • Project acronym: Privacy flag
  • Participants: Greece (coordinator), Switzerland, Denmark, UK, Serbia, Italy, Sweden, Luxembourg
  • Project N°: 653426
  • Total costs: € 4 538 437
  • EU contribution: € 3 142 999
  • Duration: May 2015 - April 2018

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  Algeria
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  Australia
  Austria
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  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Botswana
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
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  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
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  Gambia
  Georgia

Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Botswana
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
  France
  Gambia
  Georgia