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IRTIC's main researcher in the privacy research line of IRTIC, among the group of experts to protect minors in the digital environment

  • March 5th, 2024
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The professor of constitutional law at the Faculty of Law and researcher specialized in privacy at the IRTIC of the Universitat de València (UV) Ricard Martínez participates in the commission of 50 experts in charge of designing a national strategy to promote a safe digital environment for children and teenagers, as approved by the Council of Ministers on January 30th, 2024. The first meeting of this commission is being held today.

The group has representation from the Childhood Observatory, the Spanish Observatory of Racism and Xenophobia, the State Council for Child and Adolescent Participation, the Youth Council, the Young Digital Advisory Council, the Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD), the State School Council, the National Cybersecurity Institute (INCIBE), the National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC) and the Council of Consumers and Users. It also includes representation from the confederations of parents' associations and third sector organizations.

Along with all of them, there will be a group of experts including Ricard Martínez, permanent professor at the Department of Constitutional Law, Political Science and Administration of the Faculty of Law and director of the Chair of Privacy and Digital Transformation Microsoft-University of Valencia. He also leads the research line of Computer Security, Data Protection and Privacy at IRTIC.

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, announced the creation of this commission during the celebration of the International Day for the Personal Data Protection and indicated the Government's intention to design a comprehensive and inter-ministerial strategy for the protection of minors on the Internet in terms of education, equality, digitalization and verification; a Draft Bill for the comprehensive protection of minors on the Internet and the development of technological tools that allow age verification.

In this regard, it is proposed to promote a multidisciplinary approach strategy based on education, since prevention and training play a crucial role in promoting a safe digital environment. Finally, it is envisaged to promote progress in the development of technological solutions aimed at preventing minors from accessing adult content.

Professor Martínez has devoted part of his research in data protection to the risks and impacts of information technologies on the rights of minors. As coordinator of the studies area of the AEPD between 2007 and 2011, he promoted the first guides and recommendations of the regulator, collaborated in parliamentary commissions and working groups related to the risks for minors on the Internet and has been speaker-coordinator in the development of the Charter of Digital Rights of the Government of Spain.

In addition, he has addressed the issue in various publications and collaborates regularly with the Faculty of Teacher Training of the UV in training activities aimed at students, in the Diploma of Specialization in Digital Teaching Competence, as well as in educational innovation activities aimed at teachers.

Projects in which the privacy team participates

The work carried out by the team specialized in privacy, related to the deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) tools in the area of digital transformation, is aligned with one of the consensuses proposed for this legislature by the Ministry of Digital Transformation and the Civil Service that contribute to raising public confidence in the public sector and in the country's ability to meet the challenges of the future. Specifically, with the agreement for the promotion of AI and its ethical use, so as to maximize its potential in the field of private investment and administration, always having the citizenship as a fundamental element.

With Martínez's experience, IRTIC is participating in the CHAIMELEON project, an initiative that will establish a structured EU-wide digital information repository of health imaging data. The repository will be used, among other purposes, as a controlled open source for artificial intelligence experimentation in cancer research. The institute focuses on verifying that the system has been designed based on the necessary privacy and security principles, so that research can be conducted with the information available in the infrastructure without undermining the rights of the individuals from whom the medical images have been obtained.

In the line of data protection, the institute is also involved in WELLBASED, which aims to alleviate energy poverty among the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people, while promoting energy efficiency behaviors and reducing energy demand in these households. It is doing the same in AI4HealthyAging, an AI-based solution that will enable early detection and rapid action in neurological, motor, and degenerative diseases resulting from aging.

Regarding the EUCAIM project, the initiative will address the fragmentation of existing cancer image repositories and establish a distributed Atlas of Cancer Imaging with over 60 million anonymised cancer image data from over 100.000 patients, accessible to clinicians, researchers and innovators across the EU for the development and benchmarking of trustworthy Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools. With Martinez's contribution, IRTIC provides legal support, particularly in privacy, data protection and cybersecurity.

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