Organising Teams and Topics
How to tame the market power of digital giants like Google, Facebook, Amazon and the like?
Digital markets are becoming increasingly concentrated which raises concerns about whether these markets still deliver the best outcomes for consumers. While competition authorities around the world continue to investigate the practices of digital giants, calls have also been made for more far-reaching regulatory interventions including breaking up existing businesses in separate entities or treating digital giants like utilities. As many questions still remain to be answered regarding proper regulatory responses, the topic of market power promises to give rise to inspiring discussions this month.
Dr. Colette Cuijpers, LL.M. (1976) studied European and Dutch Law at Tilburg University, the Netherlands. She received her PhD in law for a study on the possibility and desirability of implementation of the European privacy directive into the Dutch Civil Code. She is currently Assistant Professor at TILT, the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society. She has participated in research programmes in the field of privacy, liability law, e-government, intellectual property rights, and domain names.
Since June 1, 2017, Sebastian Dengler is a researcher at the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology and Society (TILT) on the ERC Starting Grant project on "Understanding information for legal protection of people against information-induced harms" (INFO-LEG) led by Nadya Purtova.
Inge Graef holds a PhD in law from KU Leuven where she defended her doctoral thesis in June 2016. She was awarded a PhD scholarship by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) to conduct her doctoral studies at KU Leuven. Inge obtained a master's degree in European law from Maastricht University in 2010 and a master's degree in Dutch corporate law from Radboud University Nijmegen in 2011 (both cum laude).
The increasing possibilities to collect, analyze, and interpret huge volumes of data enable creating very detailed pictures of individuals’ current –and possibly- future behavior. Governments use profiles and risk scores of their citizens to automate processes such as paying taxes or handing out fines. In the law enforcement sector there are many (in)famous examples of using patterns and statistics for predictive policing. Using algorithms to profile citizens and determine whether they for example pose a risk in the sense of not pay taxes or commit crimes, raises a lot of issues surrounding false positives/negatives, transparency, privacy of those being profiled, procedural rights, etc. In the events in this anniversary months we will look at what kind of an impact these technologies have.
Maša is conducting research in regard to privacy and big data-based security in public spaces. This research is connected to the ongoing Living Lab "Stratumseind 2.0" project on the prominent Stratumseind nightlife street in Eindhoven. The Stratumseind project is a public-private partnership in principle established to increase security so as to renovate the public area, bars and restaurants. Innovative solutions such as lighting, social media and gaming technologies are being deployed and tested in order to meet the goals.
Sascha van Schendel LLM is a PhD researcher at TILT, specializing in human rights protection against Big Data use of governmental actors. Her PhD research deals with Big Data analytics by law enforcement agencies and issues of transparency. In 2016 Sascha worked for the Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy, on the project Big Data in een vrije en veilige samenleving, for which she conducted a comparative research together with Bart van der Sloot and for which she wrote a working paper on Big Data use by Dutch Intelligence Agencies. Sascha also wrote publications on data protection topics such as data retention.
Ivan Škorvánek is a PhD researcher at TILT. He has a legal background, and holds a master degree in Slovak law and an LL.M. in International and European Public Law from the Tilburg University. He is also a graduate of the joint Research Master in Law of Tilburg University and KU Leuven. He conducts research in the area of privacy and comparative criminal law, focusing on privacy crimes and criminal investigation powers in Germany, Poland and Czechia. Since joining TILT in 2015 he has participated in a number of comparative studies in the fields of cybercrime and cyber security.
There is a rampant tendency to instrument and datafy the cities we live in; a growing plethora of technologies are being embedded within the built environment.Those technologies, and the social consequences their adoption brings forth, have been loosely grouped under the ‘smart city’ umbrella. 'Smart city’ can however mean everything and nothing; the only real consensus is that technology is political, and has regulatory capacity.
This month we will critically explore the legal, ethical and societal challenges at the intersection between datafication, instrumented environments, developmental visions and a $5 billion market. How can people benefit from smart city projects? What risks do we run? What role should regulatory frameworks play in the datafication or urban life? What would a smart city look like beyond concerns of convenience or efficiency alone? And what is our way forward?
Lorenzo is a doctoral candidate at TILT and a legal researcher at TU Delft, Kenniscentrum Open Data. He is also a member of the CPDP Core Programming Committee, and of the Privacy & Identity Lab. His current research, the SPOW project, focuses on the interaction between open data and data protection in the "smart city" environment. Before that, he worked at TILT as a researcher for the A4Cloud project, dealing with the legal aspects of cloud computing. Lorenzo holds a LLM from Tilburg University, and a Laurea Quinquennale in Legge from LUISS Guido Carli.
Shazade’s interdisciplinary research has focused on how data becomes knowledge, and the implications for the political economy of data and urban governance worldwide. With a background in global development, integrated sustainability, and psychology, her focus is on how to incorporate different disciplines and ways of working for effectiveness, efficiency and ethics. She’s curious about how regulation drives incentives for ethical development and the balance between flexibility and structure in systemic change. Shazade is currently a doctoral researcher at the Tilburg Institute of Law, Technology and Society, working on Data Justice with Dr. Taylor.
Hellen is a PhD Researcher on Dr. Linnet Taylor’s ERC Global Data Justice Project within TILT. Her research interests are in digital surveillance laws, big data and power, data value chains, data governance and ethics, and the impact of data technologies on people’s privacy and other areas of human development. Hellen’s PhD research focuses on Kenya as a case study. Prior to joining TILT, Hellen worked as a development policy Consultant for the Government of The Bahamas, in the Office of The Prime Minister. Prior to that, she practised law and also taught law at The University of the Bahamas/University of the West Indies law program.
Intellectual property law has traditionally distinguished between data and innovative ideas. Different regimes with their own rationales were applied to the one and the other. However, data science is effectively blurring the distinction between the two. Given enough data, data analysis can come up with new, unexpected innovative ideas. This calls into question the old distinctions and may call for a rethinking of various concepts in intellectual property law. For instance, how we distinguish between expression and idea in copyright law, and data and their organization into databases. Moreover, data science holds the promise of cheaper, because automated, idea generation. This contradicts economic research that shows that ideas are ever harder to come by: the low hanging fruits have already been picked. Where do we stand? What does this mean for intellectual property law?
Martin Husovec obtained his PhD from the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition and Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich for his work on injunctions against intermediaries (published with Cambridge University Press, 2017). He was a visiting researcher at Stanford Law School (2014), Japanese Institute for Intellectual Property (2015) and the Central European University (2018).
Maurice obtained a law degree at Maastricht University and a MSc degree in computer science at Eindhoven University of Technology. He then joined Tilburg University to write his PhD. After completion of the PhD, he became a senior researcher at the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT). He is chief editor of DomJur the largest Dutch database about domain name caselaw and caselaw in the field of online intermediary liability in the Netherlands.
Data protection law sets the rules for processing of personal data in order to provide legal protection against possible negative consequences associated with such processing. When personal data is processed, data protection principles, rights and obligations apply, and otherwise they do not. However, a consensus is growing that an increasing range of data should be considered personal, and some even argue that everything is personal data, among others, because everything in our environments is or contains information. These developments raise a number of questions: what is information and where do the boundaries of information lie in terms of its relationship to meaning, and physical media? What is the state of the art of data analytics now and what implications does it have for the kinds and scale of impact of data processing on people? In the increasing digital environment where every interaction is being mediated by digital data, what can we expect from data protection law? What are its biggest challenges? Finally, if everything is personal data, is a legal regime triggered by this notion sustainable in the long-run and how should the future data protection law look like?
Dr Raphael Gellert is a post-doctoral researcher at the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology and Society. He conducts interdisciplinary research (law and social sciences). His PhD studied the risk-based approach to data protection, with a focus on the regulation and risk literatures. In the context of the INFO-LEG project he is responsible for the information studies track.
Dr Nadya Purtova (LLM’05, CEU, Budapest, MSc’06, Leiden, PhD’11 cum laude, Tilburg) is Associate Professor at Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society. She does research on data protection and informational privacy law, recently, in the context of health, regulation of health technologies, property rights in personal data, data commons, and economic analysis of data protection law.
National health systems nowadays are under strain, due to demographic change, an increase in chronic diseases as opposed to infectious diseases and also rising patient expectations. Together with omnipresent budget cuts, it is clear that there is a pressing need for better, more efficient health care. In this debate, personalised medicines and eHealth are often presented as panacea, radically changing the way patients are cared for and treated. Personalized medicine stands for a paradigm shift in medicine, moving from a “once size fits all” approach towards using individuals phenotypes and genotypes in order to develop a patient specific therapeutic strategies. Also eHealth is argued to bring many benefits to patients, health care professionals but also the health care systems as such, through revolutionizing the delivery of care.
In this month, we will critically examine the promises through the legal and ethical lens, focusing on the impact of personalized medicine and eHealth on patients. How can patients benefit from personalized medicine and eHealth? What role should patients play in the decisions on how to regulate new health technologies? What risks do these technologies entail for patients?
Robin Pierce is Associate Professor for EU Health Law at TILT. Her expertise is in the ethics and regulation of emerging biomedical technologies. Her research interests include early detection technologies in translational Alzheimer’s research and biotechnology.
With a background in Science and Technology Studies and Medical Sociology, her main interests evolve around (mental) health care in the broad sense. This includes the sociology of mental health, the use of neuroscientific or psychological knowledge in how individuals, families and groups define themselves, and the translation of new techniques and understandings to health care provision. At TILT, she contributes to the Health Cluster, examining the regulation of new technologies in health and wellbeing.
This month we want to explore the relationship between human beings and AI technologies. Human-technology relationships tend to be thought of in instrumental terms: technologies are tools that extend human capabilities. Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies invite us to think about technologies as more than tools. They have been presented as substitutes for human beings, but also as autonomous agents that operate as if they have a life of their own. Care robots and intelligent home appliances are expected to be our partners or intelligent assistants. We anthropomorphize robots that engage with us in human-like interactions, and we become concerned about independently acting, technologically opaque computers controlling human behavior rather than the other way around.
Silvia De Conca is a PhD candidate at Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society. Her primary research interest is the relationship among Robots, AI, and the Law, with a particular focus, for her PhD, on Data Protection. Silvia’s research interests also include regulation of new technologies, Privacy and Data Protection in general, ICT Law, IP Law.
Aviva de Groot is PhD candidate at TILT. Her research aims to identify explanatory benchmarks and modalities for providing rights relevant understanding of data driven technologies to laymen users. She is interested in the mutual shaping of humans and technology, and focusses on automated decision making and human robot interaction.
Merel Noorman is Assistant Professor of AI, robotics and Science and Technology Studies at TILT. Her research focus on the social and ethical aspects of AI and robotics. She is particularly interested in the distribution of responsibility around complex intelligent technologies.
Linnet Taylor is Assistant Professor of Data Ethics, Law and Policy at TILT. Her research focuses on global data justice – the development of a conceptual framework for the ethical and beneficial governance of data technologies based on insights from technology users and providers around the world.
Climate Change is a global societal challenge. The effects of climate change are often felt hardest by those who lack the resources to counteract its negative effects. Both climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation efforts contain (elements of) new technologies that are employed in order to either reduce climate change itself, or to enable societies to cope with its effects at a local level. Innovative technologies, such as Carbon Capture and Storage, are used to reduce or capture emissions that cause climate change. New energy generation techniques are employed to ensure a more renewable source of energy supply. Each of these new technologies poses new regulatory challenges. Although they address a global problem, its immediate negative impacts are mostly felt locally. This requires regulators to adopt strategies that focus on ensuring public support for these technologies, by taking into account concerns arising from uncertainty as to their long-term impacts. If they don’t, we might soon be wearing bikinis in December.
Anna Berti Suman is a PhD researcher at the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology and Society. Her PhD project aims at investigating how ‘Citizen Sensing’ (bottom-up monitoring initiatives based on the use of sensors) affects the governance of public/environmental health risk. Anna has a background in Law from the University of Bologna (BA, MA, cum laude) and Transnational Law from the University of Geneva
Leonie Reins is an Assistant Professor at the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology and Society. Previously she was a Post Doctoral Researcher at KU Leuven, Belgium where she also wrote her PhD thesis on the coherent regulation of energy and the environment in the EU. Leonie completed an LL.M. in Energy and Environmental Law at KU Leuven, and subsequently worked for a Brussels-based environmental law consultancy, providing legal and policy services for primarily public sector clients. Leonie’s research focuses on the intersections of energy and environmental law.
Micro-targeting is a specific technique used to address the individual voter, based on a broad set of data collected for the purpose of profiling. This reveals actionable information about one’s general opinion, party preferences and other non-political characteristics. Digital platforms increasingly determine the terms and conditions on which this access to information and dissemination occurs. In 2019 November, TILT will be discussing the potential harms of this practice to the democratic process, and to the society at large.
Emre is a researcher at TILT. His project is titled "Algorithmic Transparency in Big Data Analytics and Impediments from Various Legal Arguments". Major research question and the research framework. What are the transparency needs engendered by data-driven decision-making practices, whether this ‘transparency desiderata’ is properly addressed in the current EU data protection regime, and to what extent IP rights stand as an impediment?
Tom Chokrevski is a PhD Researcher at TILT. He received a Bachelor of Laws at the Justinianus Primus Faculty of Law in Skopje 2012. He followed a double LL.M track in Law & Technology at Tilburg Law School, along with the Research Master in Law, a two-year joint program with K.U. Leuven. He graduated from Tilburg Law School in 2016. His research interests involve the collision of converging technologies and socio-legal contexts, in particular bio- and neuro-technologies, and how they challenge the current social and legal norms.
Esther an Assistant Professor in Ethics, Law, and Policy of new Data Technologies at TILT. Esther holds a MA (2008) and PhD (2016) in Philosophy, both from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. She is specialised in the Philosophy of Technology and Philosophical Anthropology. In her research, she focusses on online trust, privacy, and data ethics. She also holds a BA in Music (2004). Before starting her doctoral research in 2010, Esther worked at the Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR). As a scientific staff member, she co-authored the book iGovernment and conducted research in the domain of digital youth care.
With the world being deeply digitalized and connected, a large part of human life and societal activities have moved into cyberspace, and the internet, the network of networks, has become the backbone of modern society. In this context, cross-border data transfers are unavoidable, ubiquitous and growing in view of the borderless nature of the internet and the forthcoming of IoT age. Thus cross-border data protection has gained increasing significance in safeguarding the rights to privacy and data protection for national state. However, cross-border data protection inevitably involves conflict of laws and jurisdictions, when strong national economic and political interests are involved. In December 2019, TILT will organize a series of activities to explore some key aspects of the cross border data protection issue, including sectorial overview such as cross-border data protection in the contexts of cloud services and healthcare data sharing, and jurisdictional clashes between China, EU and US, for instance.
As a Chinese scholar, Dr. Bo Zhao is a senior research fellow at TILT. Before his joining TILT in Oct. 2017, he was a senior research fellow at STeP Research Group (Security, Technology and e-Privacy), Faculty of Law, University of Groningen.