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Open University lecture: Security and Democracy, May 8th (London)

openDemocracy Opendemocracy
9 April 2014

In this keynote lecture Jef Huysmans, Director and Professor of Security Studies at the Centre for Citizenship Identities and Govenance (CCIG) at the Open University, will revisit the relation between democracy and security against the background of recent revelation of global surveillance practices.

He will argue for embracing a democratic curiosity when evaluating contemporary security practice. Democratic curiosity displaces attention from familiar often elite conceptions of power relations to the extremely ordinary ways in which the powers of security but also of democracy work. Rethinking the relation between democracy and security is particularly pertinent today when traditional democratic institutions are severely limited in the power they are exercising upon an increasingly diffuse organisation of security practice.

Thursday, 8 May 2014, 18:00 - 20:00

The Open University in London, 1-11 Hawley Crescent, Camden Town, London, NW1 8NP, Rooms 2b&2c. (See map)

This is part of the series: 'Being on the line: citizenship, identities and governance in times of crises'.

Register to attend the lecture via the Open University website.

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals


To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.


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