Law, Science, Technology & Society News

Algorithms and Society Workshop

The Algorithms and Society Workshop organized by LSTS and Privacy Salon, supported by Open Society Foundations was a great success! It took place on Monday 10 December 2018 at the VUB. It attracted 40 participants from all over Europe including academics, civil society, journalists and practitioners to discuss the impact of algorithms on society. A report of the event will be available soon. For more information:


There are new vacancies available within the LSTS group. Please check the 'Vacancies' page for more information.

Understanding the balancing act behind the legitimate interest of the controller ground: a pragmatic approach

Paul de Hert and Irene Kamara publish a new BPH working paper discussing the prerequisites, stakes, and relevant case law of the Legitimate Interest of the Controller ground for data processing (Art. 6(f) GDPR).

Conference on Data Protection in Humanitarian Action a great success

On 12 March 2018, the Brussels Privacy Hub in collaboration with the Data Protection Office of the International Red Cross (ICRC), the Minister of Development Cooperation, Digital Agenda Telecom and Postal Services, NATO. The Conference focused in two panels on some of the practical issues arise when data protection rules are applied to Humanitarian Action. A summary of the event will be available soon.

New Publication: Privacy and Data Protection Seals

A new publication featuring LSTS members is available. 'Privacy and Data Protection Seals' is the 28th volume of the Information, Technology & Law Series. It was edited by Vagelis Papakonstantinou and features Paul De Hert and Irene Kamara. A reference to the book can be found here.

LSTS Affiliated Researcher Paul Nemitz appointed as VUB Fellow

On 6 February 2018 Paul Nemitz, Principal Advisor at the European Commission, Affiliated Researcher to the Law, Science, Technology and Society (LSTS) Research Group, and Privacy Hub board member, has been appointed as a Fellow of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). The award ceremony will be held on June 21, 2018. “Fellow VUB” is the highest grade of membership of the University, a title bestowed upon unique personalities. Through the VUB Fellowship programme academics, society, and business meet to discuss joint challenges, exchange experiences and share good practices.

Laura Drechsler wins 3rd prize in LexisNexis Best Paper Award at IRIS2018

On 22 February 2018, Brussels Privacy Hub member Laura Drechsler was awarded the 3rd prize in the LexisNexis Best Paper Award competition for the 21st Internationale Rechtsinformatik Symposium (IRIS) in Salzburg for her paper “Data As Counter-performance: A New Way Forward Or A Step Back For The Fundamental Right Of Data Protection”. The paper analyses the proposal for Digital Content Directive from a data protection angle and is available in the conference proceedings published also online by Weblaw.

Recording of the successful first Lunchtime Event with the EDPS online

On 20 February 2018, the EDPS and the Brussels Privacy Hub co-organised a lunch workshop at the EDPS premises on ‘Putting a price on your invaluable private life? Personal data and the values behind’. The debate between our speakers, Damian Clifford (KU Leuven), Sari Depreeuw (Daldewolf), Géraldine Proust (FEDMA), Agustín Reyna (BEUC), Romain Robert (EDPS) and Gloria Gonzàlez Fuster (VUB) were both fruitful and academically engaging! If you missed this high-level debate, watch a full recording here.

Recording available of roundtable on the European Investigation Order

On 15 January 2018, the VUB Fundamental Rights and Constitutionalism Research Group, as partner of the EU project LIVE_ FOR, organised a round table addressing cross border access to electronic evidence and judicial cooperation in the context of the European Investigation Order. The panel composed by LSTS members Mireille Hildebrandt, Paul De Hert, Gloria Gonzalez Fuster and FRC member Catherine Van der Heyning, examined the fundamental elements of the instrument and addressed some of its current and future challenges jointly with the notions sovereignty, territoriality and jurisdiction, individual´s fundamental rights and the work of law enforcement authorities in the digital era. Find a video of the full event here.

Christopher Kuner cited in POLITICO on “Brussels effect”

On 31 January 2018, POLITICO published an article on the external influence the entering of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will have on a global scale through its strict rules on cross-border data transfers and its application on companies tending to EU customers. Within the article ‘Europe’s new data protection rules export privacy standards worldwide’ Brussels Privacy Hub Co-Director Christopher Kuner is cited on two occasions as main expert for what he terms “the Brussels effect”, namely that through data protection Europe is trying to extend its influence over other countries. “In terms of regulatory influence, Europe is definitely a superpower”, so Kuner. To read the full article on POLITICO, click here.

Brussels Privacy Hub and Privacy Salon host successful launch for CPDP 2018

On 23 January 2018, the Brussels Privacy Hub teamed up with Privacy Salon to host a launch event for the 11th edition of CPDP. The event was an exclusive roundtable on “Cross-border data transfers”, where the discussants Max Schrems (noyb), Renate Nikolay (Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Vĕra Jourová, DG JUST, European Commission) and Gabriela Zanfir-Fortuna (Future of Privacy Forum) debated especially data flows in the transatlantic context. The heated debate was moderated by Omer Tene (IAPP). If you missed the debate, find a full recording here.

CPDP launch event: Speakers confirmed!

On 23 January 2018, the Brussels Privacy Hub and the Privacy Salon will be hosting an exclusive launch event for the 11th edition of CPDP. This year's launch will be an Evening Roundtable on "Cross-border Data Transfers" starting at 18.00, followed by a cocktail. The excellent debate will focus on “cross-border data transfers” especially in the transatlantic context. For more info and registration, click here.

Computers, Privacy & Data Protection (CPDP) 2018 is almost near!

As a world-leading multidisciplinary conference, CPDP offers the cutting edge in legal, regulatory, academic and technological development in privacy and data protection. The CPDP Conference 2018 will last from January 24-26, offer 70 different panels totaling over 400 different speakers on various subjects. Check out the preliminary programme here!

LSTS books of the year 2017

Our researchers have contributed to this list, a selection of fiction and non-fiction works that they have deemed to be must-reads. Visit the list here!

2nd edition of the Privacy HUB - Meet the Author Series highly successful!

On 18 December 2017, the Brussels Privacy Hub held the second event in its Meet the Author Series of Lunchtime debates titled “The relationship between EU consumer law and data protection”. The video can be found here.

Prof. Christopher Kuner as a Visiting Professor at Chuo University in Tokyo

From mid-November through early December Prof. Christopher Kuner was a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Comparative Law at Chuo University in Tokyo, Japan. During his stay Prof. Kuner gave lectures and participated in various workshops. In particular, he was the keynote speaker at a staff seminar at Chuo Law School entitled “EU General Data Protection Regulation and Artificial Intelligence Society” on 29 November.

PLSC-Europe: Privacy Law Scholars Conference Europe

PLSC-Europe 2018 will be held in Brussels on Saturday 27 January 2018, right after CPDP2018. CPDP – Computers, Privacy & Data Protection conference – is an annual gathering of academics, lawyers, practitioners, policy-makers, industry, and civil society from all over the world. Its 11th edition, “The Internet of Bodies”, will take place from Wednesday 24 January to Friday 26 January 2018. PLSC-Europe will follow on Saturday 27 January 2018. For more information, please visit the PLSC webpage.

New project: Support Training Activities on the Data Protection Reform (STAR)

LSTS is proudly announcing a new research project, STAR: Support Training Activities on the data protection Reform, launched in November 2017. This 24-month project, co-funded by the European Union (EU) under its Rights, Equality and Citizenship programme (2014-2020), is coordinated by LSTS and brings together UK’s Trilateral Research Ltd and the Nemzeti Adatvédelmi és Információszabadság Hatóság (NAIH), the Hungarian Data Protection Authority (DPA). The STAR project will support training activities of EU DPAs and Data Protection Officers (DPOs) on the EU data protection reform, especially on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). For more information, visit the STAR webpage

Handbook on Data Protection in Humanitarian Action at the Council of Europe

On 23 November 2017, the Handbook on Data Protection in Humanitarian Action of the Brussels Privacy Hub and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will be presented at the 35th Plenary meeting of the Consultative Committee of the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data (ETS No.108). This presentation further underlines the importance and relevance of the Handbook for Humanitarian Action and will greatly enhance its visibility.

VUB, with the support of Microsoft, establishes the Chair Fundamental Rights and the Digital Transformation

The VUB, with the support of Microsoft, has established the Chair Fundamental Rights and the Digital Transformation within LSTS. The aim of the Chair is to contribute to a better understanding of the transformation of society due to developments in digital technologies and their deployment in various sectors, and the European regulatory response to these developments. Joris van Hoboken, who is working on the intersection of fundamental rights and the governance of platforms and internet-based services, has been appointed as Chairholder. Paul de Hert acts as the academic supervisor of the Chair. A first PhD student will be appointed soon.

Handbook on Data Protection in Humanitarian Action to be presented at the annual DG ECHO partners’ conference

DG ECHO (Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations) is hosting its partners’ annual conference on 30 November to 1 December. In collaboration with the representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross, BPH will present the Handbook on Data Protection in Humanitarian Action to organizations delivering humanitarian aid around the world. A more detailed summary of the conference will follow after the event.

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