WP Privacy and Technology in court

What If Autonomous Cars could talk !?

Hello, Your name is...

Oh Wait, they don't have to.
Their black boxes with all that data they collect is already tell tailing enough information, Information you might not want to be collected, let alone shared. (Government, insurance, criminals, jealous wives). It is only a matter of time now before this data may be used against you in a court of law. Knowing this would you change your behavior? Your driving style or the places you visit?

This is just one example of device data incrimination. Other examples include the use of fitbit data in court (US). Will widespread adoption of smart clothing outsmart you in the long run if they start collecting data which may be used as evidence against you ? Should we fear our device data as incriminating evidence ?

The debate in the US about privacy and technology in court is on the so called “A reasonable expectation of privacy" which depends under a given set of circumstances upon your actual subjective expectation of privacy as well as whether society is prepared to recognize this expectation as reasonable.

"The protections of the Fourth Amendment are clear. The right to protection from unlawful searches is an indivisible American value. Two hundred years of court decisions have stood in defense of this fundamental right. The state's interest in crime-fighting should never vitiate the citizens' Bill of Rights." - John Ashcroft, 1997

The subjectivity makes it rather vulnerable as cases have show.

  • Posting a tweet was considered analogous to screaming out of a window = no reasonable expectation of privacy and 
  •  ‘we are aware that cell phones can be tracked = we have no reasonable right anymore to expect privacy around phone records’


Does this mean that every time someone utters the one-liner Privacy is Dead, this human right gets eroded a little bit more ? Or can we reclaim that we do expect privacy even when we are outside in public space. A place that has served throughout history as vital for a democratic society. And even a place, as some argue, that was expected to grant more privacy than indoors (think of the secret garden preferred over eavesdropping house servants)

So instead of a whatever mentality lets discuss the widespread adoption of new technologies (Iot, smart meters, smart cities, cameradrones, fitbits and selfie-sticks-in-your-face)and how it may affect (our expectation of) privacy, autonomy in public places and our human rights.

"Judicial implementations of the Fourth Amendment need constant accommodation to the ever-intensifying technology of surveillance" (Dean v. Superior Court [1973]

to be continued

(We are working on a research project, if you want to know more get in touch)

Some Reads
Samuel D. Warren & Louis D. Brandeis; The Right to Privacy
John R. Parkinson
The criteria for Expectations of Privacy are: 1) general legal principles; 2) the vantage point from which the surveillance is carried out; 3) the degree of privacy afforded by certain buildings and/or places; and 4) the sophistication and invasiveness of the surveillance technology employed.


WP: The Unmanned Future

Unmanned Future2015
The Unmanned Future, It will happen.
So who will go First ?

And what happens to what will be left




readings on cyberfeminism



Today The Guardian posted the news on Facebook about the SuicideGirls respons to Richard Prince's Art exposition. Richard Prince, who is an American artist with a history of controversial artworks that deal with copyright used Images of the SuicideGirsl Instagram and turned them into his own Artworks.
The respons that followed focusses on many interesting angles of the issue.
  • The fact that Prince's Art was selling for 90.000 dollars at Frieze Art fair (and the subsequent respons from SuicideGirls to sell their Instagram photo's for 90).
  • The fact that Prince used the images without permission which raises the question of copyright infringement : however there is the exception of FAIR USE.  Prince has relied on the fair use exception before  in the case Cariou v. Prince in which it was held that Prince's appropriation art could constitute fair use, and that a number of his works were transformative fair uses of Cariou's photographs. The case was settled.

Would in the case SuicideGirls vs Prince there be FAIR USE  ?
First is there an infringement ? The images are likely to fall under copyright protection owned by the respective photographer/owner. As the copyright holder has the exclusive right to use, display and copy the images, without permission there may be an infringement. (note on Instagram ToU: when signing up and posting images on Instagram the user grants Instagram a license to use the images)
There are exceptions when permission is not needed : the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107 states that
'The fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment [ ......] is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:
  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. 
Appropriation art is accepted as valid purpose and the fact that it is being sold with a hefty price tag does not change this. It might even be used as an argument against a claim by the SuicideGirls seeing how the effect is positive given the publicity and raise of value of the images. Furthermore the act of the SuicideGirls may not have been the best response (I wonder if they consulted with a lawyer before selling their pictures).

Where Jeff Koons and lost because his Puppies artwork was not considered to parody the underlying photograph he used, Prince won with respect to his Canal Zone series, however not all of the artworks in this series were considered fair use.

If the SuicideGirls would proceed legal actions can Prince claim that his work is transformative ?
I think they very well could be: Prince has not shown only the images but included the Instagram context which changes the images and transforms them in such a way they become a comment on social media and society which focuses on self expression and self exploitation through the posting of selfies etc. If this is indeed what was intended it is unlikely Prince will share his artistic process (He did not speak up about his intentions in the case against Cariou).

other interesting issues in this case include the following
  • The SuicideGirls may be successful based on an infringement of their personality rights.  
  • The issue of SuicideGirls incriminating themselves. Anyone who puts stuff on Instagram should know (read) the terms of use. Which includes 
Instagram terms of use
 If we look at the content of the images...this could be somewhat problematic for SG to begin with, right !? (merely speculative but Prince is no fool when it comes to legal matters so who says he didn't take this into account) 
  • The price of NO-PRIVACY settings.
This is a good example again of the ongoing developments in society where people are sharing personal information online without realizing what can happen as a result of that. In this case your privacy settings may be worth 90.000 dollars. That is if you are as interesting as the SuicideGirls, but even when you are not it is worth think about what indeed can happen to your photo's that you share online. This is not the first time images have been used for purposes that were unintended by people positing them online.

Reasonable expectations of privacy on social media
This again is also a good reminder why data-protection and privacy regulations are so important. If we look at the current dataprotection in Europe: any information that can be used to identify a person is considered personal information which can only be processed based on legitimate grounds. In this case however it depends if the re-use of Prince of these publicly available images fall under the scope of the data protection directive. (I will go into that later)


Image and Publicity rights
Another interesting question would be if the SuicidGirl in question would be able to challenge Prince based on His/Her 'personality' rights.This would be for example possible in the Netherlands where 'Portrait rights' are dealt with in the Dutch Copyright Act.

Article 21
If a portrait is made without having been commissioned by or on behalf of the persons portrayed, the copyright owner shall not be allowed to communicate it to the public, in so far as the person portrayed or, after his death, his relatives have a reasonable interest in opposing its communication to the public. 

Reasonable interests include when for example the person portrayed could have asked compensation for the use of its portrait. Which is clearly proven given the SuicideGirl's fame and popularity (and the fact that the Girls are now selling their Instagram as counter reaction.). 
The other valid reason is based on harm to their reputation. Prince's work can be read as a critical comment on the use of social media and objectification of women. Perhaps (I have not seen al of the works) some of the comments included in the frame are insulting, degrading etc and as such the work could be seen as damaging the image of the Suicicidegirls....whatever image that may be.
  • Website : SuicideGirls is an adult lifestyle brand that redefines beauty with our unique pin up girls and active, smart online community 
  • Instagram  : SuicideGirls 💋 What some people think makes us strange or weird or fucked up we think makes us beautiful. True devotees join our website/cult/private club.

the Art(Price) is merely a mirror


WP_The PRIVACY of Plants (POP)

Botanical exposure 

 The Privacy Of Plants 

The protection of plants seems to be relevant on different (political) levels. We have the sous_veillance of plant spotters who have to obscure the finding of rare species from others who want to remove/take/harm them.

for example 


Rare plants


Plant as WEED profiling is dangerous for pioneers that try to survive in hostile environments.


Privacy for plants looks at these tools to provide protection for a variety of subject organisms based on their specific needs and looks at ways how these tools can be implemented for human privacy too.
ongoing tool-links:





Privacy through MIMICRY

Using similarity of one species to another which protects one or both. Mimics are found in the same areas as their models, So the best way to be private is to blend.

Blending as a tool not to be seen, Blending as a tool not to stand out

Blend appearance, behaviour, sound, scent or location.

examples of plants blending approaches

here we have our Target mimic its environment:

Here we have our Target mimic other subjects to avoid identification.

Bee orchid flower resembles a female bee  to attract males in search of a mate

Here we have our Target trying to blend in 

Crabgrass is a light green, weedy grass that can appear in summer.

These are some possible ways in which plants under target may try

 to protect their privacy and/ or mask their identity


We are now working on ways to strengthen the Privacy of Plants



WP Privacy of Plants

TOOL: GMO Encryption and Botanical surgery

A genetically modified organism (GMO) is any organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. 

In 1971, the first debate over the risks to humans of exposure to GMOs began when a common intestinal microorganism, E. coli, was infected with DNA from a tumor-inducing virus. 
Initially, safety issues were a concern to individuals working in laboratories with GMOs, as well as nearby residents. 
However, later debate arose over concerns that recombinant organisms might be used as weapons. 

This has led to these GMO-plants becoming targets of violent attacks and discrimination. Their privacy is under threat because of their GMO-Identity. 

We do not only need to protect GMO Plant Targets, we can also learn how Plant DNA can be changed to enhance Plant Privacy Protection !

We are testing ways of encrypting the Plant's DNA.
- for TargetPlant to change its Appereance and/or Identicy
- for TargetPlant to gain powers to protect itself
- for TargetPlant to alter its fingerprint, which is necessary after recent government funded research on botanical barcoding.

“Identification is important - it is the link between a given plant and the accumulated information available for that species. It is not possible to know if a plant is common or rare, poisonous or edible, being traded legally or illegally etc., unless it can be identified,” said one of the researchers,

We are indeed very excited about the future of this type of Botanical surgery to improve the Privacy of Plants. 
Which proves all the more important as new technologies emerge that threaten the privacy of plants !

"There are researchers around the world and diverse users of plant identification who are eager to get started.”

WPPOP_Privacy by Fashion Design

Wearable Privacy
Mimicry of plant characteristics to provide a privacy by design 



We work, love, live and play 
We deserve legal representation & equal rights

just like humans

Intelligence in any form should NOT be discriminated against,  

Are you?

coded to be murderous

Join Us 


WP: Pixel Protection

Reverse Evidence Engineering
In a world of big data, any data digitization may be used to reverse engineer *unfavourable* behaviour. 
Who knows what will become criminal behaviour in the future !?
A project call for protestpixelprotection

WORKS: MORE in Progress