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Dr Anna Vartapetiance gave BCS talk on laws and technologies

Dr Anna Vartapetiance, a postdoctoral researcher of the Department and a Committee Member of the BCS ICT Ethics Specialist Group, presented "Laws and Technologies - friends, foes and fictions" at a joint event between the ICT Ethics and the Law Specialist Groups, with the Chairs of both groups present, held on 28th July 2015 at the BCS headquarters.

The event started with an introduction from Dr Penny Duquenoy (Chair of the ICT Ethics SG and Principal Lecturer at Middlesex University) and was followed by an hour of presentation by Anna chaired by Dr Jennifer Dean (Chair of Law Specialist group, and a Barrister of the Inner Temple).

The talk explored the relationship between ethics, law, and emerging technologies. Anna discussed the difficulties associated to applying laws in cyberspace, with examples of such difficulties drawn from online gambling, passenger name records (PNRs), National DNA databases, and online grooming – with the latter topic a focus of Anna’s present work under the ICURe Innovation-to-Commercialisation programme, piloted by the SETsquared Partnership and funded by Innovate UK and HEFCE.

In the short discussion breaks offered between the examples, it was apparent that the audience were keenly engaged with the subject matter, and this carried through to the subsequent Q&A with attendees generally in agreement that the talk was thought-provoking, having clearly raised a lot of interest and discussion.