About the Research Group on Law, Science, Technology & Society

The multidisciplinary Research Group on Law, Science, Technology & Society (LSTS) was created in 2003 as an independent entity within the Faculty of Law & Criminology at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. With more than 30 researchers at all levels of experience, LSTS has become a prominent European research institute in the area of technology regulation.

LSTS at a glance

LSTS began in 2003 with four researchers, based on former work in the area of data protection law and computer crime carried out in the faculty under the leadership of Prof. Bart De Schutter. It currently has over 30 staff, including over 20 academic staff.
LSTS has become one of the leading European IT law research centers, and has retained a global focus. We have awarded numerous PhD degrees, and taken part in many European research projects. It is the most active publishing group within the Faculty of Law and Criminology at VUB in terms of books, reports, articles, and book chapters that have been published with prestigious publishers and journals.

The team is led, both administratively and academically, by Profs. Serge Gutwirth and Paul De Hert. The staff comprises several postdoc researchers, PhD researchers, associated researchers and 11 affiliated professors (core professors are: Serge Gutwirth, Paul De Hert, Mireille Hildebrandt, Christopher Kuner, Fabienne Brison, Gloria González Fuster, and Vagelis Papakonstantinou). Research staff at LSTS have backgrounds in a number of areas, including law, ethics, philosophy, political science, sociology, chemistry, criminology, and others. Great emphasis is placed on incorporating a multidisciplinary perspective in all our work.

Follow our blog at http://vublsts.wordpress.com/

Major research areas

At LSTS we have five major research areas:

a) Privacy and data protection, which is an area where the work done by LSTS researchers is highly influential. LSTS researchers also operate the Brussels Privacy Hub, an internationally-focused privacy research centre, the Privacy Salon, an NGO aiming at public awareness of privacy and other social and ethical consequences of new technologies, and the Brussels Laboratory for Data Protection & Privacy Impact Assessments (d.pia.lab)

b) The impact of technologies and surveillance on fundamental rights in the Information Society;

c) E-Health (including e-Aging) and human body related questions raised by technology;

d) Intellectual property rights as they relate to the use of ICTs;

e) The changing nature of law (digital legal theory) and the role of law in relation to science, technology and politics. The focus of LSTS on legal theory and philosophy and the proper role of law in relation to other sciences and disciplines is one of the things that makes it unique.

Within these five areas, our expertise covers a wide range of topics related to developments in information and communication technologies, such as surveillance, e-commerce, e-health, regulation of ICT, biotechnology, identity management, e-signatures, biometrics, cybercrime, security, international and comparative law, international humanitarianism, intellectual property rights, citizenship, risk analysis and management, precautionary politics and governance, globalization, and Europeanization, among others.
Additionally, LSTS is leading the establishment of Food Forum at VUB, promoting multidisciplinary approaches to food law.

A global perspective

LSTS is a widely and intensely networked organization.
We lead and perform EU projects as part of consortia with many other European universities and research centres. We also cooperate actively with many leading universities outside Europe.
Our researchers are also active in international organizations such as the UN, OECD, international humanitarian organizations, and others.

We recruit internationally, with most of our researchers being non-Belgians, and our main working language is English. However, we also publish quite a bit in other languages, including Dutch, French, Italian, and Spanish, among others.

CPDP Conferences

LSTS is the main organizer of the yearly Computers, Privacy & Data Protection Conference, which puts LSTS at the very heart of the world data protection and privacy community. This event, with Paul De Hert as a lead organizer, brings together all the influential voices in the field (academics, practitioners, policy-makers and civil society) and has become an influential platform for dissemination by researchers and PhD students. The conference regularly attracts to Brussels over 1,000 attendees from around the world. It has resulted in the publication of several books putting forward multidisciplinary perspectives on privacy and personal data protection.

Recent books & publications

Coessens Kathleen, Francois Karen, Van Bendegem Jean Paul (2018) Math and Music: Slow and Not For Profit. In: Paul Smeyers, Marc Depaepe (eds.) Educational Research: Ethics, Social Justice, and Funding Dynamics. Springer Netherlands. ▸ Abstract

De Hert Paul, Papakonstantinou Vagelis (2018) Data protection policies in EU Justice and Home Affairs. A multi-layered and yet unexplored territory for legal research. In: Servent Ariadna Ripoll, Florian Trauner (eds.) Routledge Handbook of Justice and Home Affairs Research. Routledge, pp. 169-179. ▸ Abstract

De Hert Paul, Safjert Juraj (2018) The role of the data protection authorities in supervising police and criminal justice authorities processing personal data. In: C. Briè, re, A. Weyembergh (eds.) The needed balances in EU Criminal Law: past present and future. Hart Publishing, pp. 243-255. ▸ Abstract

Francois Karen, Coessens Kathleen, Van Bendegem Jean Paul (2018) We're (not) only in it for the money (Frank Zappa). The financial structure of STEM and STEAM research. In: Educational Research: Ethics, Social Justice, and Funding Dynamics. Springer Netherlands. ▸ Abstract

Kamara Irene, De Hert Paul (2018) Data Protection Certification in the EU. In: Rowena Rodrigues, Vagelis Papakonstantinou (eds.) Possibilities, Actors and Building Blocks in a reformed landscape. T.M.C. Asser Press.

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LSTS Sample Books

All references accessible at https://www.vub.be/LSTS/pub/index.shtml

K. Boersma, R. Van Brakel, C. Fonio & P. Wagenaar , Histories of State Surveillance in Europe and Beyond, Routledge, 2014, 238p. ISBN 978-0-415-82946-5

S. Depreeuw, The Variable Scope of the Exclusive Economic Rights in Copyright, Wolters Kluwer, 2014, ISBN 9041149155

S. Goel, Y. Hong, V. Papakonstantinou, D. Kloza, Smart Grid Security, Dordrecht, Springer, 2015, 130p. ISBN 978-1-4471-6662-7;

G. González Fuster, The Emergence of Personal Data Protection as a Fundamental Right of the EU, Springer, 2014, ISBN 978-3-319-05022-5;

S. Gutwirth, R. Leenes, P. De Hert P. & Y. Poullet (eds), European data protection: in good health?, Dordrecht, Springer Science, 2012, 363p. ISBN: 978-94-007-2902-5;

S. Gutwirth, R. Leenes, P. De Hert & Y. Poullet (eds.), European Data Protection: Coming of Age, Dordrecht, Springer, 2013, 440p. ISBN 978-94-007-5184-2;

S. Gutwirth, R. Leenes, & P. De Hert (eds.), Reloading Data Protection. Multidisciplinary Insights and Contemporary Challenges, Dordrecht, Springer, 2014, 387p. ISBN 978-94-007-7539-8

S. Gutwirth, Y. Poullet, P. De Hert & R. Leenes (eds.), Computers, Privacy and Data Protection: an element of choice, Dordrecht, Springer, 2011, 457p. ISBN 978-94-007-0640-8

M. Hildebrandt, Smart Technologies and the End(s) of Law. Novel Entanglements of Law and Technology, Edward Elgar, 2015, 304p. ISBN 978-1849808767

M. Hildebrandt, K. de Vries (eds.), Privacy and Due Process after the Computational Turn, Abingdon Oxon, Routledge, 2013, ISBN 978-0-415-83150-5

M. Hildebrandt, J. Gaakeer (eds.), Human Law and Computer Law, Dordrecht, Springer, 2013, ISBN 978-94-007-6314-2

M. Hildebrandt, S. Gutwirth (eds.), Profiling the European Citizens. Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives, Dordrecht, Springer, 2008, ISBN 978-1-4020-6914-7

M. Hildebrandt, K. O’Hara, M. Waidner, The Value of Personal Data. Digital Enlightenment Yearbook 2013, IOS Press, 2013, ISBN 978-1-61499-294

M. Hildebrandt, A. Rouvroy (eds.), Law, Human Agency and Autonomic Computing, Routledge, 2011, ISBN 978-0-415-72015-1

C. Kuner, European Data Protection Law: Corporate Compliance and Regulation, 2nd edition, Oxford University Press, 2007, 552p. ISBN 978-0-19-928385-9

C. Kuner, Transborder Data Flors and Data Privacy Law, Oxford University Press, 2013, 285p. ISBN 978-0-19-967461-9

D. Wright & P. De Hert (eds.), Privacy Impact Assessment, Series: Law, Governance and Technology Series, Vol. 6, Dordrecht, Springer, 2012, 523p. ISBN 978-94-007-2542-3.

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