PRISE - privacy & security
Institute of Technology Assessment – ITA

The Institute of Technology Assessment (ITA) is a research facility of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, one of Austria's leading research institutions ( ITA was founded on January 1st, 1994 (based on its predecessor, the Technology Assessment Unit). ITA devotes itself to inter-disciplinary scientific research on trends and options of technological change and their societal impacts. Results serve, in particular, to advice decision-makers in public policy. At present the Institute employs about a dozen scientific researchers. Their expert knowledge of economics, business management, sociology, political science, communications technology, psychology, philosophy, telecommunications, molecular biology, medicine, genetics, media sciences, chemistry, ecology and law is combined in the interdisciplinary field of technology assessment (TA). The core group is formed by teams of employees of the Institute, who are assisted when required by external experts. International co-operations particularly within the European Union represent a significant part of ITA's work.

A major research focus is on information and communication technologies (ICT) in various fields of application and aspects. Areas of study include effects on work organisation, new forms of work, employment and regional development; ICT in social and health services, in science and research and applications at all levels of government, within and between government agencies and public administration as well as in relations with citizens, civil organisations and businesses. Special emphasis is given to organisational and governance issues of electronic services as well as electronic democracy. ITA has an outstanding record of projects, publications and policy advice in research related to socio-economic aspects of ICT. To privacy an own research programme is devoted. Together with the classic technically-induced approach which attempts to assess the consequences of concrete technologies, a problem-oriented method is followed in this context. “Privacy in the digital world” is the analytical focus of this research programme. Its aim is to identify and analyse the network of relationships involved between technologies, basic rights, social and political consequences and thereby derive options for action.

Furthermore, ITA has also conducted Austria's first national Technology Foresight programme “Delphi Austria” and participated in several other Foresight related research activities at European level. During the last decade, the institute acquired expertise in a great number of international research projects within programmes of the European Union and European initiatives such as IST, ACTS, TSER, Telework 95, RACE, ORA, SEER, and COST as well as for international organisations such as OECD and UNIDO. ITA also contributes to the work of the EPTA network (European Parliamentary Technology Assessment), ESTO (European Science and Technology Observatory) and INAHTA (International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment).

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Danish Board of Technology – DBT

The Danish Board of Technology is the parliamentary technology assessment institution of Denmark. The role of the Board is to perform technology assessment, advice the parliament and the government, and to further debate the issue of technology in Denmark. The methodologies used include traditional expert-based analysis, parliamentary debates, and participatory methods involving stakeholders and lay people, as well as public debates and enlightenment activities. The Danish Board of Technology was brought into being in order to disseminate knowledge about technology, its possibilities and its effects on people, on society and on the environment. The Board aims to promote the ongoing discussion of technology, to evaluate technology and to advise the Danish Parliament (the Folketing) and other governmental bodies in matters pertaining to technology.

The Danish Board of Technology is an independent body established by the Danish Parliament in 1995 and is the successor of the Technology Board, which was set up as a statutory body in 1986. The Parliament's Research Committee is the Board's ongoing liaison with the Parliament. Once a year an annual report is submitted to the Parliament and the government.

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Unabhängiges Landeszentrum für Datenschutz – ULD

Unabhängiges Landeszentrum für Datenschutz (ULD, English: Independent Centre for Privacy Protection (ICPP)) is the Privacy Protection Authority of Schleswig-Holstein, the northernmost Federal State of Germany. Its office with 35 employees is located in Kiel, Germany. The Privacy Commissioner of Schleswig-Holstein, Dr. Thilo Weichert, is head of ULD.

The basis for the work of ULD is laid down in the State Data Protection Act Schleswig-Holstein. This act is one of the most progressive ones worldwide and includes among others provisions for a seal of privacy for IT products and privacy protection audit for public authorities. Since 2002, ULD issues such privacy seals for products which legal and technological privacy aspects with respect to legal compliance have been evaluated.

Since 1998 ULD has been working on several national and international projects in the field of data security and privacy protection. Projects are carried out together with various co-operation partners from academia, government, industry, or consumer protection organisations located in various countries. The interdisciplinary team within the ULD is active in creating and reviewing concepts, developing and implementing privacy technology and giving feedback to legislation and standardisation.

ULD in particular has know-how in all aspects of privacy and informational self-determination including related issues of data security. The employees are experienced in developing criteria and elaborating them together with other parties, e.g., companies, administration or academia. The interdisciplinary approach within the ULD ensures a common understanding on both legal and technological issues which is especially relevant for the design of security policies and technology. All results are verified whether a use in real-life scenarios is legally compliant today or in the near future.

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Norwegian Board of Technology – NBT

The Norwegian Board of Technology is an independent body for technology assessment established by the Norwegian Government in 1999, following an initiative by the Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget).


The Board works in the interface of science and technology. It aims to assess impacts and options of technology in all areas of society, to stimulate public debate on technology, and to support the political decision-making process and shaping of technological change. The Board furthermore monitors international technological trends and methods for technology assessment. Its activities are addressed to the Stortinget, governmental bodies and the public at large.


The Norwegian Board of Technology has 15 members appointed by the Government. The secretariat has six employees and is situated close to the parliament building and government offices in Oslo.


  • Identify and debate major technological challenges and aim to further a humane and sustainable technological development.
  • Monitor international trends, developments and activities within technology assessment and technological foresight.
  • Actively stimulate public debate on technology related issues and hence raise public awareness concerning the impacts and options of technology.
  • Initiate reports and holistic assessments of the potential benefits and consequences of specific technologies for individual citizens and the society at large.
  • Communicate the results of its work to the Stortinget, governmental authorities and the wider society.


The Board uses a variety of methods for assessing technology, ranging from participatory methods such as citizens' panels, consensus conferences, scenario workshops and open hearings, to interdisciplinary working groups on the expert level. The Norwegian Board of Technology in particular makes use of participatory methods in technology assessment in order to strengthen the voice of lay people.


The Board shall impart the results of its work to the Parliament, other authorities and society at large. This is done through newsletters, reports and other documents, as well as through documentaries, CD-ROM and media activities. The Board has established a series of newsletters to the Parliament and also contributes to parliamentary hearings and responds to requests from MPs.


    Ongoing projects 2005:
  • ICTs and Privacy
  • Sustainable Technology Policy
  • Marine Growth
  • The Hydrogen Society
  • Stem Cells and Therapeutic Cloning
  • Technological Foresight
  • Nanotechnology

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