CSI-COP Societal Impact 1

The report presents CSI-COP’s project interim societal impact. This initial impact in Period 2 of thevproject has mainly been internal, within the consortium team members, and where occurred, in the partner organisation. Impact on the general public and wider society is expected in the final period of the project. This is when citizen scientists will conduct website and app investigations, and any effect from policy recommendations is realised. The current societal impact report is with respect to the project’s objectives including assisting the EU with monitoring the compliance of the general data protection regulation (GDPR) in websites and in apps. The approach has applied a citizen science methodology based on the ten principles of citizen science inclusion formulated by the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA). CSI-COP’s societal impact aims to raise awareness of different types of digital tracking techniques deployed in websites and apps, and the need for improving transparency around ‘informed consent’.

The societal impact includes addressing the project’s thirteen indicators to monitor and evaluate impact: ten from the European Commission’s Monitoring the Evolution and Benefits of Responsible Research and Innovation (MoRRI), and three from the United Nations sustainable development goals (UN SDG). These indicators encompass gender equality; science literacy and quality education; ethics; public engagement; open access, and partnerships for goals. Undoubtedly a once-in-a-hundred year’s pandemic (COVID-19) virus has hit the project hard with respect to engaging the general public through in-person activities. Additionally, the nature of CSICOP’s consortium changed with the termination of one project partner in the second year of the project.

Nonetheless the CSI-COP partners’ efforts have realised a free informal education course ‘Your Right to Privacy Online’ which has already begun delivery across the partner countries in local languages, as well as through online synchronous workshops (attendees present at the same time). This course has reached hundreds through different media: the EU.Citizen-Science MOOC platform for selfstudy, through course document download from the CSI-COP website, and in online and in-person workshops. To reach a wider audience the course has been translated into eleven languages from the nglish original: Catalan, Czech, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian,
Romanian, and in Spanish.

The face-to-face course has been delivered by CSI-COP partners in the UK, Greece, Israel, Hungary, Czech Republic, and in Romania. As reported in CSI-COP’s first deliverable (Ignat et al., 2020), citizen science projects have featured mainly white middle-aged males. The active practice of inclusion in thevCSI-COP project has so far seen an approximate 2:1 ratio between female|male attendees, and youngvpeople attracted to the course through partner university connections. Additionally, the mid-term societal impact has seen partners evaluating their own online behaviour to improve their data-privacyvmanagement. Colleagues in the consortium have also begun investigating websites and apps for trackingvcookies to prepare demonstrations for citizen scientists. CSI-COP partners have also begun holding
conversations with a variety of stakeholders, including data protection officers, local businesses,vneighbours, friends, and sister EU funded citizen science projects. This work is continuing in Period 3vto an extended CSI-COP project-end in June 2023 following an Amendment to CSI-COP project. The final societal impact report, due in month 39 (March 2023), will detail CSI-COP’s full societal impact.

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