Security and privacy

The digital revolution has significantly contributed to the development of security and surveillance technologies. Although they have sometimes been invented for security purposes, they are not without posing questions, in particular when it comes to protecting individual privacy.



The digital revolution has significantly contributed to the development of security and surveillance technologies. Such technologies either have been designed specifically for security reasons, or more commonly have been developed for other purposes but have found a security and/or surveillance application.

The development and proliferation of security and surveillance technologies have further been facilitated by advances in a number of scientific domains, most notably in the areas of telecommunications, information and computing as well as location tracking, biometrics, ... The Internet of Things is a key example with this regard: when it comes to mobile health, or surveillance and monitoring systems, connected devices lead to collect information that need to be protected against improper or unlawful usages.

Moreover, European Research & Development projects require to address the ethical, legal and social issues raised by new surveillance and security technologies. In particular, the balance between security and liberty has become a crucial legal and political debate: are the resulting infringements of privacy and other human rights compatible with our democratic societies?

The major goals of this research area are to better understand the relationship between surveillance, security and human rights, in particular privacy and data protection rights. Reaching them requires both legal and technical skills.

On the other hand, security requirements will also contribute to ensure a high level of trust of citizens, private entities and public authorities in electronic transactions. For that purpose, users may rely on the services provided by trust services providers, such as signature, time stamping, archiving, or some emerging technologies such as blockchain and smart contracts.


Key publications

  • J.-N. Colin. Du Bitcoin aux DAO: les fondations techniques de la blockchain. Dans les blockchains et les smart contracts à l'épreuve du droit. Larcier edn, Collection du CRIDS, 2020, p. 9-29.
  • J.-N. Colin. Risk as the cornerstone of Information security and data protection. In Deep Diving into Data Protection 1979-2019 : Celebrating 40 Years of Privacy and Data Protection (Larcier), 2021, To appear.
  • J.-N. Colin and L. Evrard. A Flexible and Centralized Approach for Access Control in Heterogeneous IoT Environment. International Journal of Hyperconnectivity and the Internet of Things (IJHIoT) 3, no. 1 (2019): 22--42.
  • E. Degrave, C. de Terwangne, S. Dusollier, R. Queck (eds.). Law, norms and freedoms in cyberspace. Droit, normes et libertés dans le cybermonde : Liber Amicorum Yves Poullet, Collection du CRIDS, n°43, Brussels, Larcier, 2018, 799 p.
  • Fr. Dumortier and A. Vander Geeten (ed.). Les obligations légales de cybersécurité et de notifications d'incidents, Bruxelles: Politeia, 2019.
  • L. Evrard, J. Francois, J.-N. Colin and F. Beck. Port2dist: Semantic Port Distances for Network Analytics. In 2019 IFIP/IEEE Symposium on Integrated Network and Service Management, IM 2019, 747--748. 2019 IFIP/IEEE Symposium on Integrated Network and Service Management, IM 2019. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc., 2019.
  • J-B Hubin, H. Jacquemin and B. Michaux (eds.). Le juge et l'algorithme : juges augmentés ou justice diminuée ?, Coll. du CRIDS, n° 46, Brussels, Larcier, 2019, 301 p.
  • H. Jacquemin (eds.), L'identification électronique et les services de confiance depuis le règlement eIDAS, Coll. du CRIDS n° 39, Brussels, Larcier, 2016, 425 p.
  • H. Jacquemin, A. Cotiga and Y. Poullet (eds.). Les blockchains et les smart contracts à l'épreuve du droit, Coll. du CRIDS n° 49, Brussels, Larcier, 2020, 496 p.
  • H. Jacquemin and M. Nihoul (eds.). Vulnérabilités et droits dans l'environnement numérique, Brussels, Larcier, 2018, 626 p.
  • H. Jacquemin and A. de Streel (eds.). L'intelligence artificielle et le droit, Coll. du CRIDS n° 41, Brussels, Larcier, 2017, 481 p.
  • M. Knockaert and J.-N. Colin. Le droit à la portabilité des données à caractère personnel: coup d'oeil juridique et technique. DPO news, no. 1 (2019): 3--5.
  • M. Knockaert and N. de Vos. Ethical, Legal and Privacy Considerations for Adaptive Systems, in Engineering Data-Driven Adaptive Trust-based e-Assessment Systems: Challenges and Infrastructure Solutions. (Baneres, D., Rodriguez, M. E. & Guerrero, A. E. (eds.)), Springer, 2019, pp. 267-296
  • Y. Poullet and A. Delforge. Les blockchains: un défi et/ou un outil pour le RGPD ?, in Les blockchains et les smart contracts à l'épreuve du droit. Bruxelles: Larcier, Collection du CRIDS; 49 2020, pp. 97-135.
  • C. de Terwangne, E. Degrave, A. Delforge, L. Gerard. La protection des données à caractère personnel en Belgique. Manuel de base, Brussels, Politera, 2019, 189 p.
  • C. de Terwangne and K. Rosier (eds.). Le Règlement Général sur la Protection des données (RGPD/GDPR) : analyse approfondie, Collection du CRIDS, n°44, Brussels, Larcier, 2018, 928 p.


Key projects

  • ARRCIS - RW (2020-2024). Assessment and Reinforcement of the Regulatory Compliance of an Information System (ARRCIS)
  • BESOCIAL (2019-2022) - Towards a sustainable social media archiving strategy for Belgium - BELSPO-BRAIN
  • BIG DATA (2015-2018) - For the Walloon Region. This Technological Innovation Partnership aims at building the first version of the Big Data service catalog (infrastructure and software) which will be made available through a Platform of Innovation (a portal open to Walloon companies both in the research and exploitation phases).
  • DENiM - H2020 (2020-2024). DENiM promotes technical leadership through the integration of innovative digital technologies to support the engineering of complex and highly interconnected processes and systems that enable the creation of sustainable value chains for energy-efficient manufacturing system management.
  • DCH - Developing a Digital Clearinghouse (2019-2022) - For the Roi Baudouin Open Society Foundation
  • DIGI4FED - Digital Revolution in Belgian Federal Government: An Open Governance Ecosystem for Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, and Blockchain (2020-2022) -- Study for the Belgian Science Policy Office BELSPO
  • EASYWAL (2010-2020). This project focuses on the legal aspect of authentic sources for public authorities.
  • FLEXPUB (2015-2020) - For the Belgian Science Policy Office BELSPO. The project is focused on the development of eGovernment services and the phenomenon of digitalization of public services.
  • HECTOR (2014-2018) - For the Belgian Science Policy Office BELSPO. This project aims at developing a model for the transformation, organization and curation of hybrid records in Belgian federal administrations in order to facilitate the transition to a trustful, secure and effective electronic government.
  • IA and public service : a regulatory approach (2020-2021) -- Study for AdN
  • INSPEX Integrated Smart Spatial Exploration System - UE-H2020 (2017-2019). The objective of INSPEX is to make obstacle detection capabilities that are currently only feasible on autonomous vehicles available as a personal portable/wearable multi-sensor, miniaturised, low power spatial exploration system.
  • mHEALTH - Walloon Region (2016-2020). This project aims at designing a platform for secured demonstration in the field of eHealth.
  • Open Agro - Walloon Region (2017-2021). The Open Agro project is an initiative from the Walloon region. It concerns the elaboration and development of a smart climate agriculture based on big data activities and decision-making tools by various public research institutions in the agricultural and environmental sectors.
  • PROMISE II - Belgian Science Policy Office BELSPO (2017-2019). The objective of PROMISE II is to study and analyze the legal framework for preserving online information and enabling the web archiving in Belgium.
  • PROTECT - European Commission (2016-2019). The goal of the project is an enhanced biometric-­based person identification system that works robustly across a range of border crossing types and that has strong user-centric features.
  • SEAMPAT - RW (2014-2017). This project aims at developing an electronic platform of drug reconciliation, in order to improve the continuity of medication.
  • SMART 2015/0086 (2016) - European Commission. Study for the analysis of the results of the sections on data and cloud computing as part of the public consultation on the regulatory environment for platforms, online intermediaries, data and cloud computing and the collaborative economy.
  • SPARTA - H2020 (2019-2022). Sparta aims at re-thinking the way cybersecurity is performed in Europe across domains and expertise, from foundations to applications.
  • TeSLA : An adaptive Trust-Based Assessment System for Learning - UE-H2020 (2016-2018). The TeSLA project provides an adaptive trust e-assessment system for assuring e-assessment processes in online and blended environments.
  • Towards a new recommendation on Profiling at the age of Big data and AI, Study commissionned by the Council of Europe (2019-2020)
  • VIADUCT (2018-2021) - For MecaTech. This research project aims at designing, developing and validating of new products and services based on human machine multimodal interface, centred on voice and focusing on senior people for autonomous and automated vehicles.


Contact: J.-N. Colin and J. Herveg