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4 May 2022: special edition

Hello, and welcome to a special issue of EDJNet’s newsletter.

The digitisation of ever more aspects of society is a long-term trend accelerated by the pandemic. But with technology and innovation come opportunities and pitfalls – the latter quite often affecting vulnerable populations. This is largely confirmed when looking into how the EU manages border control and people's movement within its territory, as the "Digital Fortress Europe" investigation by MIIR shows.

The three-part report, complemented by an article by OBC Transeuropa, is the final chapter of EDJNet's contribution to the research project PANELFIT, which reached its final stage. This collaboration let us tackle issues related with data protection, privacy and the impact of disrupting technologies on fundamental rights from different perspectives. A challenging journey that let us learn lots of new things and contribute to an increasingly crucial debate.

Let's dig in.


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Forward Forward

The Digital Walls of Fortress Europe

As part of PANELFIT, Kostas Zafeiropoulos, Janine Louloudi, and Nikos Morfonios from MIIR – one of EDJNet's Greek partners – conducted a three-part investigation on the issue of digital surveillance in the EU, with a particular focus on migration management:

The ecosystem of European biometric monitoring and surveillance data

The digitisation and online transition of ever more aspects of our lives is a long-term trend accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. What goes largely unnoticed is the same trend involving the data collection and surveillance superpowers of EU states.

Trapped in a digital surveillance system

The impact of surveillance systems on vulnerable populations, money for Frontex drones, and monitoring the movement of citizens within the European area.

Automation and surveillance in Fortress Europe

Artificial intelligence and algorithms are at the heart of the EU’s new mobility-control system. High-risk automated decisions are being taken on human lives. It is an emerging multi-billion-euro unregulated market with dystopian 'smart' applications.

Related stories

Power imbalances and freedom of consent in migration management

Gianluca De Feo | OBC Transeuropa

The collection of personal information, including biometric and ethnicity data, is being used as a standard tool in migration management. The notion of consent is often disregarded, which is particularly problematic when minority and vulnerable groups are concerned.

A conversation on surveillance in journalism

Federico Caruso, Dimitri Bettoni | OBC Transeuropa

From the Pegasus spyware investigation to mass surveillance: a dialogue with researcher Philip Di Salvo to understand the impact of new technologies for all those involved in journalism and beyond.

All our articles can be freely republished or reused. Some are available in Croatian, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, and Romanian. Interested? Write to us!

Watch, listen & read

PANELFIT monthly chats

Almost every month in the last three year, EDJNet and PANELFIT hosted chats between a journalist and experts on ethical and legal issues related to data protection and ICT. The most recent episode features a conversation with Gry Hasselbalch, co-founder of, on how power dynamics impact the field of AI in terms of fundamental rights, sustainability, etc. It is available here and by clicking on the image below, while you can listen and watch all 20 chats on Spreaker and YouTube.

Data Pollution and Power Dynamics with Gry Hasselbalch

Data Protection Handbook

All you need to know about GDPR and the handling of personal data while exercising your journalistic duties in one place. PANELFIT's practical Handbook for Journalists has been finalised and you can access it here. It has also been translated in German and Italian. Feedbacks are welcome (you can contact us at

Guide for vulnerable populations

ICTs, personal data, digital rights, the GDPR, data privacy, online security… These terms, and the concepts behind them, are increasingly common in our lives. Some of us may be familiar with them, but others are less aware of the growing role of ICTs and data in our lives – and the potential risks this creates, which are even more pronounced for vulnerable groups. This guide is a resource for members of vulnerable groups, people who work with vulnerable groups, and citizens more broadly.

You are free to reuse and republish all the content available on EDJNet. If you’d like to know more, check our terms of use or contact us (

For more news and features from EDJNet visit our site and join the conversation on our social networks:
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