New Challenges to Privacy due to Emerging Technologies and Different Privacy Perception of Younger Generations: The EU PRACTIS Project

Lecture / Panel
For NYU Community

Speaker: Niv Ahituv, The College for Academic Studies and Tel Aviv University, Israel


This talk reports on our work as part of the PRACTIS Project. PRACTIS (Privacy Appraising Challenges to Technologies and Ethics) is a research project initiated by the EU. It was carried out over 31/2 institutes of six countries: Israel (project coordinator), Poland, Germany, Finland, Belgium and Austria. PRACTIS was concluded in April 2013 with the submission of a list of recommendations to the EU. 

PRACTIS had two main goals:

  • To identify and assess evolving impacts on privacy that might result from various emerging technologies and new scientific knowledge and to propose means to cope with potential future risks to privacy in both the legal and social spheres, while maximising the benefits of these new technologies.
  • To formulate a framework for thinking about the ethical and legal issues related to privacy in the future when the emerging technologies will prevail, and to explore novel policy options to address the needs of citizens in a world of new technologies while maintaining privacy.

PRACTIS was carried out through three major tracks:

  1. The technology track: This track has focused on technology and privacy.
  2. The legislative and ethical track: The track reviews laws, regulations and legal approaches to privacy along history and among different countries.
  3. The behavioural and perceptive track: This track deals with the question how people perceive privacy and how they behave when privacy threats surround them.

The talk will review the results of two of the above tracks: Technological forecast of privacy threatening new technologies; the differences in privacy perception between the young generation (the "natives" of the Internet era) and the adults (the "immigrants"). The third part of the talk will present the major recommendations presented to the EU.


Niv Ahituv is the Dean of Dan School for Hi-Tech Studies at the College for Academic Studies. He is a Professor Emeritus of Tel Aviv University. He was the founder (2003) and the Academic Director of the Institute of Internet Studies and the Marko and Lucie Chaoul Chair for Research in Information Evaluation at Tel Aviv University. From 1989 to 1994 he served as the Dean of Graduate School of Business Administration, and from 1999 to 2002 he served as Vice President and Director General (CEO) of Tel Aviv University. In 2005 he was awarded a Life Time Achievement Award by The Israeli Association for Information Technology. From 1997 to 2011 he represented the Israeli Government in UNESCO in issues related to Information Technology. Since 2006 he represents the Israeli Academy of Sciences in CODATA – an international committee on the sharing of scientific data. His main areas of interest are: information economics, IT strategy and management, social and business implications of the Internet. On the latter issue he published a book (in Hebrew) in 2001 entitled “A World without Secrets: on the Open Information Society”. He holds degrees of B.Sc. in Mathematics, MBA, and M.Sc. and Ph.D. inInformation Systems Management.