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Data and the public order: From descriptive to prescriptive practices

When:Th 11-02-2021 09:00 - 17:00

The collection, analysis, storage and sharing of data has become increasingly popular and important for public institutions. The use of data enhances the capabilities to monitor the environment, as well as groups and individuals. Statistical analysis and algorithms seemingly make prediction and prevention of undesired events possible. Continuous measurement, observation and information sharing enables authorities to work more efficiently adopting prescriptive practices in their work and organisations.

However, the use of data does not only bring new opportunities. Recent anti-pandemic measures have demonstrated how both hype and hope are tightly attached to technological ordering of the public sphere, for the maintenance of public goods such as health and mobility. If social interaction is constantly monitored, how can we ensure that individuals move around freely, with sufficient space for freedom of expression and privacy? Furthermore, how can we prevent that digital tools are used to commit crime, for cyberattacks, fraud, or for attempts to undermine social norms and institutions that form the foundation of our societies? Can public sector institutions as pillars of society leverage the potential of data through elaborate knowledge infrastructures, while preserving and strengthening the public order? What role can the business sector play to support social cohesion?

This symposium is the place for decision-makers, experts, professionals and academics to explore these questions together and work towards solutions to make use of data. Campus Fryslân and NHL Stenden have joined forces and combined their expertise.


09:00 Registration

09:15 House rules & technical support desk

09:30 Welcome

  • Oscar Couwenberg - Vice President NHL Stenden; member executive board NHL Stenden
  • Jouke de Vries - President University of Groningen
  • Andrej Zwitter - Dean of Campus Fryslân

09:45 Keynote by Caroline Davey / Andrew Wootton; Design Against Crime Centre, University of Salford

Disorderly data and unpredictable policing — Insights from human-centred security research

The use of data on crime and citizens' feelings of insecurity raises a range of practical and philosophical issues — some of which are rarely fully explored. Davey and Wootton will share insights gained from their use of a human-centred design approach to crime and security research over the past 20 years. From the use of data on crime incidents, victimisation and feelings of insecurity, to the application of such data in crime mapping, predictive policing, and policy development. Davey and Wootton will discuss how a human-centred design approach enables the rethinking and reframing of the use of data that meets the needs of police, policymakers and citizens.

Professor Caroline L. Davey and Andrew Wootton,
Design Against Crime Solution Centre, University of Salford

Professor Caroline Davey and Andrew Wootton are co-directors of the Design Against Crime Solution Centre — a unique design research partnership with Greater Manchester Police, the Landeskriminalamt Niedersachsen (DE) and DSP-groep b.v. (NL).

For the past 20 years, Caroline and Andrew have led research into the use of evidence-based design to create human-centred product and service solutions to societal challenges. They are currently leading the €3m European Commission funded research programme Cutting Crime Impact (CCI). CCI is working with six law enforcement agencies across Europe — including the Dutch and Estonian national police forces, Lisbon Police, German police in Lower Saxony and Spanish police in Catalonia. Over the next three years CCI will research and develop products / services that address high impact crime and security issues. The project will also embed human-centred product development capability within project partner organisations (

In collaboration with key stakeholders and industry partners, Caroline and Andrew led the research and product development work that resulted in ProtectED Community Interest Company (CIC)—a design-led social enterprise that seeks to improve the safety, security and wellbeing of university students by raising standards across the higher education sector (

Caroline and Andrew have published widely on the use of human-centred design to address issues related to social responsibility, and were invited to author a volume of Gower's seminal Socially Responsible Design series. Design Against Crime: A human-centred approach to safety and security outlines the development of Design Against Crime in the UK, and its wider impact on design research, practice and policy across Europe.

10:45 Coffee break

11:00 Parallel sessions I

Dutch track English track
Cybercrisis: Ontwikkelingen in het publieke domein Using data to predict unsocial behavior and crime: myth or reality?
Moderator: Jurjen Jansen Moderator: Oskar Gstrein
Deelnemers: NHL Stenden/Haagse Hogeschool (Sander Ebbers, Joyce Koch), Veiligheidsregio Fryslân (Johan Haasjes), Gemeente Leeuwarden (Grethe Faber-Boersma en Freddy Dijkstra) Participants: Rosamunde van Brakel (VUB, LSTS Research Group), Lotte Houwing (Bits of Freedom), Catherine Jasserand (KU Leuven), Max Querbach (Police Lower Saxony, Germany), Sofia Ranchordás (University of Groningen), Sander van der Waal (Waag)

12:30 Lunch break

13:00 Parallel sessions II

Dutch track English track
Lokale monitoring en handhaving van online aangejaagde ordeverstoringen Crisis management and data protection during Covid-19: local, national, international perspectives
Moderator: Willem Bantema Moderator: European Forum for Urban Security
Deelnemers: Arnout de Vries (TNO), Saskia Westers (NHL Stenden), Heinrich Winter (RUG) en Noord Holland Samen Veilig Participants: Andrej Zwitter, Center for Digital Society, Gadjah Mada Uni Yogyakarta, Indonesia

14:30 Coffee break

15:00 Parallel sessions III

Dutch track English track
Moeilijk bereikbare groepen Europe's fight against cybercrime
Moderator: Paul van Soomeren (DSP Groep) Moderator: Rob Boudewijn
Deelnemer: Carl Steinmetz Participants: Europol, NN

16:30 Coffee break

16:40 Summary of the day, moderated by Anne Beaulieu - Director of Data Research Centre, Campus Fryslân

17:00 Goodbye

Sessions descriptions

Dutch sessions

Cybercrisis: ontwikkelingen in het publieke domein

Overheidsorganisaties, zoals gemeenten, zijn al geruime tijd in transitie naar digitale bedrijfsvoering. De complexiteit en de afhankelijkheid van digitale systemen neemt hiermee steeds verder toe. De groeiende hoeveelheid privacygevoelige data die de overheid verzamelt, alsook de toenemende kwantiteit aan bedrijfsgevoelige data, brengen digitale dreigingen met zich mee. Deze dreigingen, in combinatie met de toegenomen afhankelijkheid, maakt dat parallel aan de groeiende digitalisering de (potentiële) impact van een cybercrisis toeneemt. Deze sessie gaat over hoe publieke organisaties zich voorbereiden op, handelen tijdens, en leren van een cybercrisis. Daarnaast delen we uitdagingen die organisaties hierin ervaren. Specifiek worden resultaten gepresenteerd van een verkennend onderzoek naar cybercrisis bij gemeenten door NHL Stenden Hogeschool en de Haagse Hogeschool, wordt u meegenomen in bredere ontwikkelingen in het crisisdomein door de Veiligheidsregio Fryslân en deelt de gemeente Leeuwarden haar bevindingen en leerpunten van een integrale cybercrisisoefening.

Moderator: Jurjen Jansen

Deelnemers: NHL Stenden/Haagse Hogeschool (Sander Ebbers, Joyce Koch), Veiligheidsregio Fryslân (Johan Haasjes), Gemeente Leeuwarden (Grethe Faber-Boersma en Freddy Dijkstra)

Lokale monitoring en handhaving van online aangejaagde ordeverstoringen

Gemeenten, burgemeesters en politie hebben steeds vaker te maken met online aangejaagde ordeverstoringen. De actualiteit laat zien dat het organiserend vermogen van burgers dat leidt tot openbare ordeverstoringen, een vlucht heeft genomen. Denk aan online oproepen tot rellen, illegale feesten en demonstraties. Maar ook andere online fenomenen kunnen zorgen voor ordeverstoringen, met nieuwe fenomenen zoals ‘de Blue Whale Challenge. Deze sessie gaat over monitoring en handhavingsmogelijkheden van gemeenten en politie, maar laat ook zien dat online monitoring en handhaving digitaal koortdansen zijn binnen onder andere de huidige privacywetgeving en in relatie tot de vrijheid van meningsuiting.

Moderator: Willem Bantema

Deelnemers: Arnout de Vries (TNO), Saskia Westers (NHL Stenden), Heinrich Winter (RUG) en Noord Holland Samen Veilig (NHSV).

Moeilijk bereikbare groepen

“Statistische analyse en algoritmen maken schijnbaar voorspelling en preventie van ongewenste gebeurtenissen mogelijk.” Schijnbaar! Meten is weten, maar alleen als je weet wat je meet. De meeste mensen – misschien wel alle mensen (Daniel Kahneman: Ons feilbare denken, 2015) – zijn slecht in staat logisch en statistisch verantwoord te denken. Bijvoorbeeld de toerist die in een rivier, die gemiddeld (!) slechts 10 cm diep was, jammerlijk verdronk in de stroomgeul (2 meter diep). Algoritmes maken nogal eens dezelfde fout. Of beter: hun makers maken die fout. De belastingdienst is al jaren bezig de rommel op te ruimen van een slim algoritme waarbij men ervan uitging dat een setje probabilistische risicofactoren een zekerheid opleveren: een hit voor fraude. Moeilijk bereikbare groepen gooien nogal eens zand in de tank van de algoritme modelleurs. Soms zijn dat netjes in het bevolkingsregister ingeschreven allochtonen die zich anders gedragen dan het gemiddelde (ze worden bijvoorbeeld vaker slachtoffer van crimineel of asociaal gedrag), soms zijn het illegale immigranten die niet gevonden willen worden. In de zorg kennen we de zorgwekkende zorgmijder. Maar er zijn ook mensen die de taal niet spreken, doof zijn of anderszins een beperking hebben (en weet dat de evacuatiemodellen bij brand in gebouwen op gezonde studenten/militairen en niet op mensen met beperkingen zijn gebaseerd). Om welke groepen gaat het? Wat zijn de gevolgen voor de algoritmes en modellen die gedrag moeten voorspellen? Willen, kunnen en mogen we die moeilijk bereikbare groepen eigenlijk wel bereiken. En nog eerder: willen zij wel bereikt worden?

Moderator: Paul van Soomeren

Deelnemer: Dr. Carl H.D. Steinmetz (gedragspsycholoog, victimoloog en data theoreticus)

English sessions

Using data to predict unsocial behavior and crime: myth or reality?

Big Data, algorithms, biometric data and autonomous systems are increasingly used to analyse, understand and predict social behaviour. The Netherlands is among those European countries which are particularly active in the development and deployment of autonomous systems in the public sector. While the use of these technologies promises unique insights and an opportunity to manage processes more efficiently, there are concerns about discrimination, intransparency, legitimacy, accountability and the limitation of individual and collective autonomy. In this session we will collect views and experiences from national and international experts on the design and use of applications such as Predictive Policing and fraud detection systems. Furthermore, we will talk about legitimate expectations when using such technologies, and explore venues towards best practices, legal compliance and the establishment of sound ethical practices.

Speakers: Rosamunde van Brakel (VUB, LSTS Research Group), Lotte Houwing (Bits of Freedom), Catherine Jasserand (KU Leuven), Max Querbach (Police Lower Saxony, Germany), Sofia Ranchordás (Uni of Groningen), Sander van der Waal (Waag)

Moderator: Oskar Gstrein

Support: Taís Blauth

Crisis management and data protection during Covid-19: local, national, international perspectives

While the spread of Covid-19 is not the first global pandemic, the measures put into place to track, control and mitigate it have played out in novel ways. Developments in big data and artificial intelligence have accelerated the development of technological tools with different aims: Informing and guiding citizens, facilitating medical consultations and follow-ups, controlling public gathering, monitoring physical distancing and tracking contact chains of infected individuals to name a few. The use of location and personal data on a large scale raises questions concerning data protection, privacy and informational self-determination. In this session we will talk about the types of tools used by cities, regions and countries in response to the pandemic and present their objectives, challenges and impacts. We will also discuss the risks of misuse that such tools pose and possible mitigation measures.

Moderator: European Forum for Urban Security (EFUS) – Pauline Lesch, Pilar de la Torre

Speakers: Center for Digital Society from Gadja Madah University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia & Andrej Zwitter, Dean of Faculty Campus Fryslân / Prof. of Governance and Innovation, Data Research Centre, Campus Fryslân

Europe's fight against cybercrime

The European Union (EU) has developed in recent years several initiatives to fight cybercrime and to counterbalance fake news and disinformation campaigns. But how has the EU organized itself to implement this important task? This workshop shall address firstly the main actors and institutions and their competences, the interinstitutional cooperation and the cooperation with the member states and other (international) actors. The workshop will continue with an overview of highlights, but cases that could have been addressed more effectively will be discussed as well, including “lessons learned”. The speaker will introduce a case to the participants, who will analyse this case in subgroups. Each subgroup will present the recommendations, followed by a feedback and Q&A session.

Speaker: n.n. Europol

Moderator: Rob Boudewijn

Support: n.n. student European Studies

Participating parties
Participating parties
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