The Working Group (WG) ICT Law can look back on 10 active years. In that time, it has addressed a wide spectrum of legal issues. With its loyal, committed pool of participants, this exchange group will be around for some time to come, providing valued assistance to university legal departments.
In May 2008, SWITCH’s legal department hosted the first WG ICT Law Meeting in Zurich. Since then, there have been two meetings per year. Attendees include experts from legal departments and IT coordinators in universities who are faced with legal issues in their daily working lives. As well as meetings, members also exchange views via a mailing list, which currently holds almost 100 subscribers from 27 institutions.
"What I particularly like about WG ICT Law is the specialist exchange with lawyers from other universities. It helps when I’m working through complex legal questions within my institution."Eliana Kohler, Legal Service, Università della Svizzera italiana (USI)
This combination of face-to-face meetings and digital connectivity of all members functions well as a format for networking and exchange of knowledge and experience. Certainly, the working group has managed to generate solutions in various fields and to represent their shared interests in the political sphere; for instance, during the revision of the Federal Act on the Surveillance of Postal and Telecommunications Traffic (BÜPF). In 2015, the working group joined with asut to produce a factsheet and submit a position paper to the Council of States. This was coupled with active monitoring of developments in parliament.
"I particularly value the chance the ICT Law working group gives me to share experiences on current topics with legal and IT specialists from various universities. The network allows us to exchange knowledge and experiences directly and constructively in a friendly environment. This results in solutions that benefit the whole Swiss university community".Arno Arpagaus, Director of Administration at Chur University of Applied Sciences and member of the University Executive Board
In the area of social media, too, the working group’s achievements have been of great benefit to the entire university community. In 2011, the group prepared the foundation for individual development of social media guidelines. As this is an area that is handled primarily by marketing departments, the group decided on an interdisciplinary approach and invited a broad selection of marketing representatives to a joint meeting. This approach was also seen in the area of data lifecycle management, for which the working group succeeded in bringing together legal and technical specialists and researchers. Discussions on topics such as data ownership and the development of management policies met with a positive response.
Overall, SWITCH can look back on a successful decade with WG ICT Law. Our warmest thanks to the members for making it happen!