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CFP2000 Workshop on Freedom and Privacy by Design

Call for Participation
[The paper submission deadline for this workshop has passed]


CFP has traditionally focused strongly on legal remedies as essential instruments in the fight to ensure freedom and privacy. But law is often very slow to catch up to technology, and has limited reach when considering the global scope of modern communication and information technologies.

This workshop instead explores using technology to bring about strong protections of civil liberties which are guaranteed by the technology itself---in short, to get hackers, system architects, and implementors strongly involved in CFP and its goals. Our exploration of technology includes (a) implemented, fielded systems, and (b) what principles and architectures should be developed, including which open problems must be solved, to implement and field novel systems that can be inherently protective of civil liberties.

We aim to bring together implementors and those who have studied the social issues of freedom and privacy in one room, to answer questions such as:

  • Implementation
    • How can we avoid having to trade off privacy for utility?
    • What sorts of tools do we have available?
    • What sorts of applications may be satisfied by which architectures?
    • What still needs to be discovered?
    • What still needs to be implemented?
    • Is open source software inherently more likely to protect civil liberties, or not? Should we push for its wider adoption?
  • Motivation
    • How do we motivate businesses to field systems that are inherently protective of their users' civil liberties---even or especially when this deprives businesses of commercially-valuable demographic data?
    • How can we encourage users to demand that implementors protect users' rights?
  • Evaluation criteria
    • Given some particular goal(s) for a particular project or technology--- such as protecting privacy---can we tell in advance if the end result is likely to help?
    • How can we tell if a system, once fielded, has achieved its goal(s)?

The intended end products of this workshop are:

  • Ideas for systems that we should field, and
  • Implementation strategies for fielding them.

We will publicize the outcome of the workshop to encourage others who were not at CFP to help in design or implementation of whatever we come up with.

If you do not have something to submit to the workshop, you may attend as a spectator, by registering and paying for the workshop in the tutorial registration section.

Date and location

The Computers, Freedom, and Privacy Conference takes place at the Westin Harbor Castle hotel in Toronto, Canada, from April 4 to April 7, 2000. This workshop runs during the first day.

Structure of the workshop

This is a workshop, not a panel discussion. It will be several hours long, with occasional breaks and refreshments. Workshop members are expected to actively participate. In addition, we will welcome spectators, who will also have occasional opportunities to ask questions and provide feedback.

The goal is to discuss a small number of real systems that we should build, and how to go about building and deploying them. Careful technical discussion---whether of software or social factors---will be encouraged. Participants are strongly advised to carefully consider some starting projects and/or methods before attending, perhaps as part of their submissions for membership in the workshop (see below). This will help to focus the discussions and provide us with some seed ideas to be considered.

We will attempt to keep careful notes of the entire session, and we will have various media (whiteboards, overhead projectors, computer projection, etc) to make it easy to draw pictures, keep agendas and outlines visible, and so forth---this will not be a collection of talking heads.

Who should attend and why

The primary participants will be programmers, cryptographers, and systems architects, because we intend real systems to be implemented and must know how to do so. However, we encourage participation from other disciplines, such as:
  • Lawyers [Architects and implementors must know how not to be bogged down by existing legal strictures.]
  • Social scientists [Fielded systems must understand sociological lessons from the past.]
  • Writers who have addressed the intersection of privacy and other civil liberties and technology [Architects and implementors can use guidance on which problems to tackle first.]
  • Participatory design and accessibility experts [Systems are useless if their intended audience cannot understand and use them.]

How to attend

Submissions DUE: Tuesday, November 30, 1999
Submission format: Flat ASCII (plain text)
Submission length: Short paper (1200 words) or abstract (600 words)
Notification of acceptance: Friday, January 7, 2000

See below for a checklist of what you must include in a submission.

If you do not have something to submit to the workshop, you may attend as a spectator, by registering and paying for the workshop in the tutorial registration section.


If you would like to attend, you must submit a short paper or extended abstract on some issue related to the workshop. Short papers should be limited to 1200 words (about 4 pages); extended abstracts should be limited to 600 words (about 2 pages).

Submissions must be in flat ASCII (no HTML or Latex markup, no Word documents, no rich text). Use the electronic submission system to submit your entry. You may either cut and paste your submission into the form or follow the instructions to email in your submission. If you wish, you may also make available a version with nicer formatting, links, or anything else you wish, by giving us a URL to some version on the web, but you must ensure that the flat ASCII version can stand on its own, in case you submit in some format which is inconvenient for us to read.

If you already have a long paper available, by all means point us at it---preferably by giving us a URL---but we also require that you submit a short paper or extended abstract. This can either be a summarization of the longer paper, or something completely different, but it must stand on its own.

Checklist for submissions

A submission must include the following:
  • Name
  • Affiliation, if any
  • Email address
  • Phone number(s), including area code or country code
  • Flat ASCII text of the submission
Optional elements that may help us:
  • Homepage URL or other pointer to your work
  • Biographical information
  • Other information you feel may be relevant
  • URL of submission or of related longer works, in a common web format such as HTML, Postscript, or PDF. (No guarantees we will look if it requires proprietary software such as PowerPoint, Word, or Shockwave to read it.)
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