Privacy is the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves, or information about themselves, and thereby express themselves selectively. The boundaries and content of what is considered private differ among cultures and individuals, but share common themes. When something is private to a person, it usually means that something is inherently special or sensitive to them. The domain of privacy partially overlaps security (confidentiality), which can include the concepts of appropriate use, as well as protection of information.


The Cities for Digital Rights conference in Amsterdam couldn’t have started with a more urgent keynote speaker than activist Bianca Wylie.


Larisa Blazic is a London-based artist, feminist hacker and educator. She is currently artist in residence at the DECODE project.


Two pilots are being developed and tested in the Netherlands that make use of 'attribute-based credentials'. What are these?


No, the photo above is not a new photo of a black hole. It is the Amazon Echo Dot in the 'do not listen' mode.


In recent months, the municipality of Amsterdam has experimented with new forms of digital identity and the sharing of personal data.


The Dutch Privacy Awards were presented during the National Privacy Conference, with an incentive award for PublicSpaces.


Paris has a digital participation platform called Budget Participatif. Access to the platform is simple. But is this user-friendliness desirable?


What is the effect of algorithms on our society? Intern Mark van Koningsveld did research with Tinder chatbots that put users in a box.


A lawsuit filed against Facebook in the US because of sexist job ads exposes the discriminatory nature of online marketing.


Tomo Kihara graduated on the use of 'smart' security cameras in the city. He developed a game that makes us aware of all that supervision.


In het Digital Identity Lab Waag is exploring, researching and testing new ways of digital identity concept and tools.




SUSHI is an interactive app for educational support of the theater programme Revolutions of Het Nationale Theater.


On August 12, 2018 Marleen Stikker was a guest for three hours in the VPRO television programme Zomergasten (Summer guests).


An idle Android phone with Chrome web browser active in the background communicates location information to Google 340 times during a 24-hour period.


SkillDojo has made videos of our lessons of 'The Boss On The Internet' on privacy and digital literacy.


The privacy policies of none of 14 large tech companies, such as Facebook, Google or Amazon, meet the new European privacy law yet.


The Digital Identity Lab looked for new ideas, concepts and concrete tools that can include a reliable and secure digital identity.


What going on with 'deepfakes'? We're speaking with Jeanine Reutemann to see if there is a reason to worry here.


For one night Waag was turned into a privacy casino. Hannah reports on the Black Box Bellagio.


Consider leaving Facebook? Maybe it's good to remember that you can do that best after May 25, 2018.


In the blog series 'Do worry, be happy!' we talk to experts in the field of technology, innovation and ethics about new developments.


Elodie Mugrefya, intern at Waag, visited the Beyond Data event in Eindhoven and was surprised in many ways.


Just before the event 'DECODE: Data commons & the city' in Amsterdam, Evgeny Morozov wrote an opinion article in the Dutch newspaper nrc. We give you a quote.


A report of the first teach-de-teacher session 'The Boss on Internet' about the new lessons that are available for education.


The new directive called PSD2 will give banks the opportunity to share your data with third parties. Do we need to worry about this development?


The Boss On The Internet is a new free lesson plan that teaches children to think critically about internet, big data and privacy.


There is a new Dutch law on the intelligence services. Why do we have to worry about this law? Nina Boelsums explains.


During the Dutch Design Week 2017 you can visit the Embassy of Health to discover is a cooperative in which your DNA is stored and only made available to third parties under conditions determined by you.


Are you looking for the right tools and expertise for your plan to decentralise data management? Register now for the DECODE challenge, and you could win 500 hours of software development and support to take your idea further. Tell us your idea, the problems you face, and how we can help.


For children, the Internet is something that has always been there. Few children, however, learn how the Internet really works. Who is the boss? And how do you protect your personal data (or why this is relevant)?




DECODE develops practical alternatives through the creation, evaluation and demonstration of a distributed and open architecture for managing online identity, personal and other data, and collective governance in a citizen-friendly and privacy-aware fashion.


After WhatsApp implemented their groundbreaking default end-to-end encryption, it a took politicians, right wing opinion makers and likeminded NGO’s some time to get their act together. Hadn’t Snowden and his likes clearly demonstrated that mass surveillance on an unparalleled scale is real, and had not the public’s response been to condemn it?


Kids grow up in a world where the Internet surrounds them, where being online is our normal state of being.



Zero tolerance

Soon everything will be recorded and can used against you. Frank Kresin sees two ways out: a radical emphasis on privacy and a fundamental reconsideration of a number of laws and rules.


Hacking Habitat is a large-scale, international exhibition on the cutting edge of art, technology and social change.


Good news for all kids who want to understand the Internet better and discover what they can do to protect their privacy online.


Kids grow up in a world where the Internet surrounds them, where being online is our normal state of being. This provides young people with a large amount of opportunities, but it also means we have to educate them about potential risks.


Hans Schnitzler, philosopher and author of 'Het digitale Proletariaa't, shares the Dutch column he presented at the Facebook Farewell Party.


Along with various partners, Waag explores the state of the social and public Internet. What becomes of our digital freedoms in these times of espionage and Big Data? Twenty years after its birth, the Internet now speaks for itself—all the more reason to take a critical look at the character of the web in 2015.


At the end of May 2015, Laura Poitras’ film CitizenFour will be shown in the Dutch cinemas. This absorbing documentary follows film-maker Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald as they make contact with the whistleblower and unleash a media storm.


The Crypto Design Challenge is an open call to all young designers and artists in the Netherlands and Belgium to develop new ideas and to submit inspiring plans and proposals (before 1 August 2015) to make the encryption of digital images and information accessible to all. Making texts and images secure is complicated, and it’s something that designers are not or insufficiently concerned about at present.


We, the innocent users of the social networks, are being used: used by governments and big companies.


Waag is one of twelve makers of a book cover design for the ADCN (Art Directors Club Netherlands) Yearbook 2014. Each year ADCN challenges designers and makers from the creative industry to design an iconic cover for their annual yearbook.




After just one day already 15% of the crowdfunding target at Indiegogo had been reached: the Mooltipass, an open-source offline password database.


Will more data allow us to improve policy responses to humanitarian crises and violent conflicts?


Een nieuwe interactieve censuurkaart van IVPN geeft een overzicht van de wereldwijde situatie. Door op een land te klikken krijg je snel inzicht waar de vrije meningsuiting online in het geding is en waar critici de mond wordt gesnoerd.


At the hackers conference eth0 in Leeuwarden was announced that the Dutch government is developing its own open source alternative for Dropbox under the name LocalBox.. The most important difference will be that all documents are stored at loval servers and not in the United States.


The Dutch secret services AIVD and MIVD can exchange telecommunication data with the American security service NSA. This court decision was taken on 23 July 2014 in a case against the State by a initiative called 'Burgers tegen Plasterk' (Citizens against Plasterk).


How does a seventeen year old look at issues like collecting (personal) data and privacy?


The fifth edition of Let’s Fix the Internet was about an open and free internet. Four speakers indicated why a free and open internet is important and relevant. They all showed that the state and the citizen in these dynamics have an unequal position, that citizens try to protect their civil rights again and again in the information society and that governments are not always able to protect these in a good way.


Unfortunately, the government is not very transparant about the systems and files they use when collecting personal information. Therefore, I have created my own database to catalogue as many government databases as possible in one large databases that I called the OverheidsMetadatabase.


Within 'Fix the Internet', Waag researched the state of the social and public Internet in 2014.


In my quest to find out what the government knows about its citizens, I found a large number of organisations and databases that I did not know that they existed. Mapping those databases is a time consuming task, that will keep me busy for some time. But certainly the government does not host al data itself. Many of our personal data collected by companies and the digital trail that we leave on the Internet is also of interest.


Bits of Freedom brings the Privacy Café to Amsterdam. At this free event volunteers will help you with your internet security. Safe chatting, arranging you banking securely and surfing anonimously on the Internet is not so hard to do: you just have to know how. The Privacy Café is to help everyone with digital safety. Young and old, experienced users of absolute beginners, they are all welcome.


In an article in the Dutch newspaper nrc•next on March 18 maart by Laura Wismans, Marleen Stikker speaks about the initiative 'Let's fix the internet' in The Netherlands.


What does the Dutch government know about me? It tried to answer this question in sending a pile of requests (generated by Bits of Freedom's Privacy Inzage Machine) to twenty organisations to provide the personal data they recorded. I now have received an answer by three quarters of them.


The Dutch Public transport chip card that turns into a bank card or mobile phone that allows you to pay afterwards (and collects all your travel data along the way), or the data of UK patients being uploaded to the servers of Google. Not a single day passes or there are topics in the field of technology that touch our privacy.


Put the settings of Facebook and WhatsApp together and you can easily conclude that this leads to an even greater insight and use of your personal data.


While waiting for his data requests Joey de Jong went searching online. But an overview is not easy to find.



Digital Peace

Digital peace, shouldn't that be a basic right? A better and more social internet - a big discussion here internally - where should the revolution take place, how do we take a stand? Big questions that can remain quite abstract for a long time. But not if we can help it. Because Waag is the result of a collaboration of artists, hackers and researchers - all in their hearts doers and makers.


Waag, Netwerk Democratie & Bits of Freedom talked about privacy and the Internet with the youngest users of the web.


Privacy: some don't worry about it, for the others a big issue. But whatever you may think about it, you cannot escape from the ongoing discussion. Almost every day one can find new articles about the spying activities of the NSA, new surveillance techniques or data that has been breached. Edward Snowdon shook the world, but the discussion concerning privacy has been going on for a while already. As it should, because we need to protect our privacy.


The public Internet became 20 years old on Wednesday January 15. On that same day in 1994, De Digitale Stad (Digital City) opened its doors in Amsterdam. It’s time for a moment of reflection.


11 february 2014 has been announced as the The Day We Fight Back, that should have the same impact as the SOPA Blackout Day.


We are conducting a personal data research, to find out what is known at governmental instutions that collect personal data.


Suddenly, voting by computer is back on the agenda in The Netherlands. A new advice says the computers can be reintroduced at the elections in a revised setup, where voters have to print the ballot papers themselves and put these in the voting boxes. Afterwards, the votes will be counted by scanning the papers.


The Dutch privacy watchdog (CBP) has published the results of a long term research on Google. The conclusion is: Google’s privacy policy violates Dutch privacy law on a number of important sections, states the digital rights movement Bits of Freedom.


With our computers and mobile devices we are generating a huge amount of data, even by just being connected to mobile networks and the internet. Governments and companies are very interested in our data and approriate our data without our explicit consent. One way to raise awareness of the possible technical solutions to protect yourself online is organizing a so-called CryptoParty.


When thinking of 'smart cities' and the privacy of citizens, it is good to look what is happening with the registration of license plates on cars and the technology that is used to do so.


On Saturday 12 October, Waag fellow Patrice Riemens took the train South to accompany a so-called 'cryptoparty' in Maastricht.


Almost everyone who is online knows the problem: before you know it you will have dozens of online accounts - but how to get rid of them?


Bits of Freedom, Waag, Netwerk Democratie, Open State Foundation and Kennisland organized a Masterclass Netpolitics in 2013.


How easy it is to follow a course at MIT, Skype to colleagues in Japan, conduct a worldwide business, or even find the perfect partner – all at marginal cost. Now this powerful network has reared it’s ugly head against us as it can store, analyse, classify and corrupt all our on-line activities without us even knowing.


Should we all become hackers? My answer is ‘no’. But if you ask me if we all should develop some hacker mentality, my answer would be ‘yes’, most definitely.


A new study by MIT Media Lab demonstrates how easy it is to identify people from the location-tracking data on their cellphones.


Smartphones and apps offer us many benefits, entertainment and convenience. All these benefits come with a price, however: a loss of privacy. You pay for these (almost) free services with your data. Without being able to do something about it, and often even without knowing about it.


In order to face societal challenges, we need to use the innovation potential of the whole society. Design Thinking and creativity are crucial to the acceptance of innovative applications and technology. It's all about encouraging people to behave sustainably.


Thursday night October 25th, the online documentary Panopticon premiered in the Waag building. In 60 minutes, director Peter Vlemmix shows his research on the state of privacy in the Netherlands.


WhatsApp is a mega business success, but it also causes communication overload and privacy discomfort. Our developer Raoul Wissink chooses not to use WhatsApp and explains why in this week’s VPRO guide.




iYou was a concept for a personal, mobile data guide, which reflects directly on the media use of a mobile phone user. was an exhibition held in the Oude Kerk (Old Church) of Amsterdam from 15 November - 15 December 2002.