The use of AI in state surveillance: Challenges for privacy


  • Eleni Kosta


  • Théodore Christakis
  • Plixavra Vogiatzoglou
  • Lotte Houwing
  • Christian Wiese Svanberg
  • Zoe Kardasiadou

Organisation: TILT

Room: Online 4

Timing: 11:45 - 13:00 on 27 January 2021

Advanced AI and machine- and deep learning algorithms enhance the surveillance capabilities of Law Enforcement Authorities (LEAs) and Security and Intelligence Agencies (SIAs) and are used to capitalise on new technological possibilities for modelling, processing and exploiting large data sets in unique and unexplored ways, making determinations and predictions about (innocent) people . In this way AI creates a paradigm shift in surveillance, and in state surveillance in particular, opening the doors to a new era of state surveillance, namely algorithmic state surveillance (ASS). This panel will discuss the challenges that ASS raises for existing safeguards in privacy protection and propose ways to address them in order to ensure effective privacy protection.

• What safeguards already exist against state surveillance for the protection of privacy?
• How does AI change the way how state surveillance functions?
• What challenges do algorithmic state surveillance technologies and practices raise for privacy?
• How can citizens become more aware of the use of AI in state surveillance in order to exercise their rights?


Eleni Kosta

Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology and Society (TILT) (NL)

Professor Eleni Kosta is full Professor of Technology Law and Human Rights at the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology and Society (TILT, Tilburg University, the Netherlands). Eleni obtained her law degree at the University of Athens (Greece) in 2002 and a Masters degree in Public Law at the same University in 2004. In 2005 Eleni completed an LL.M. in legal informatics at the University of Hannover (Germany) and in 2011 she was awarded the title of Doctor of Laws at the KU Leuven (Belgium) with a thesis on consent in data protection. Eleni is conducting research on privacy and data protection, specialising in electronic communications and new technologies, as well as on health law and intellectual property. She has been involved in numerous EU and national research projects.


Théodore Christakis

Université Grenoble Alpes (FR)

Professor, University Grenoble Alpes; Senior Fellow, Cross-Border Data Forum. Chair on the Legal and Regulatory Implications of Artificial Intelligence (, MIAI@Grenoble Alpes).
Director, Centre for International Security & European Studies; Co-Director, Grenoble Alpes Data Institute. Member: French National Digital Council; French National Committee for Digital Ethics; Institut Universitaire de France. As an international expert he has advised Governments, International Organisations and the private sector on issues concerning international law, cybersecurity & data protection. Data Protection Officer for tech companies.

Plixavra Vogiatzoglou

KU Leuven Centre for IT & IP Law (CiTiP) (BE)

Plixavra Vogiatzoglou is a doctoral researcher at the KU Leuven Centre for IT & IP Law (CiTiP). Her PhD examines the justifiability of interferences with fundamental rights by mass transfers of personal data from private to public sector actors for the prevention of crime. Alongside her doctoral research, Plixavra is also working on European research projects, analysing security technologies and their impact on human rights. Plixavra holds an LLM in International Studies from the Faculty of Law of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and an LLM in Intellectual Property and ICT law from the Faculty of Law of KU Leuven. She is also a certified a lawyer in Greece and has worked as a trainee in DG HOME of the European Commission.

Lotte Houwing

BoF (NL)

Christian Wiese Svanberg

Danish Police (DK)

Christian Wiese Svanberg is the Chief Privacy Officer and DPO of the Danish Police. Since 1 January 2019 he has also been the DPO of the Danish Passenger Information Unit established under the PNR Directive. He is a delegate to the EU Council DAPIX working group and represented Denmark in the European Commission’s High Level Expert Group on Information Systems and Interoperability.
In 2012 he co-chaired the first six months of the DAPIX negotiations of the GDPR and Law Enforcement Directive. Previous employments include the Danish Data Protection Agency, The Ministry of Justice and as an attorney-at-law at Plesner Law Firm, Copenhagen.
Christian is an external lecturer in European Data Protection Law at the University of Copenhagen Law School.

Zoe Kardasiadou

European Commission (EU)

Dr Zoe Kardasiadou is a lawyer by education and has worked in the field of ICT law and data protection since more than 20 years. Her doctoral thesis dealt with product liability and medical malpractice for medical expert systems. She is working for the European Commission, at the Data Protection Unit. Before her current position, she worked as legal officer at the EDPB, EDPS and the EU Fundamental Rights Agency. Zoe also worked for 10 years at the Greek data protection authority, inter alia as Head of Department for policy and supervision. She was member of several legislative committees dealing with data protection law, she teaches and has a series of publications.