Vagelis Papakonstantinou member of the Greek GDPR implementation law-making committee

Vagelis Papakonstantinou has been appointed a member of the law-making committee drafting the GDPR (and the Police and Criminal Justice Data Protection Directive) implementation law in Greece. The law-making committee, established under the Greek Ministry of Justice, has been in session since 2016 but has not been able to produce a final legislative act yet, although public consultation has already taken place on a previous draft. Under its current mandate the committee needs to conclude all relevant works until end of February 2019.

MPlegal opens new office in Brussels

MPlegal is pleased to announce that it has opened up a new office in Brussels, Belgium. Through its presence in the capital of Europe MPlegal intends to provide more comprehensive services to its international clients, while staying close to EU law developments particularly in the fields of personal data protection and intellectual property rights protection. Its office is also expected to be active in applied research projects in related fields.

Vagelis Papakonstantinou, professor at the Faculty of Law and Criminology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Vagelis Papakonstantinou has been appointed a professor at the Faculty of Law & Criminology of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. While working for the Brussels Privacy Hub and the Research Group on Law, Science, Technology & Society (LSTS) his research will continue to focus on personal data protection, both from an EU and an international perspective; Special emphasis will be placed on supervision, in particular Data Protection Authorities’ global cooperation. New research topics will include cybersecurity, digital personhood and computer programmes.

New paper, legal personality to (certain) computer programs

Vagelis Papakonstantinou and Paul de Hert co-authored an article on “Structuring modern life running on software. Recognizing (some) computer programs as new “digital persons”, published in the, 200th anniversary issue, of the Computer Law & Security Review.

Abstract: Saudi Arabia grants nationality to an AI robot; the first “clash of robots” took place in Japan; and, Bill Gates suggests that robots start paying taxes. We believe that these developments justify new legal fiction interventions. Software has long now exceeded the intellectual property boundaries. It is no longer merely property; it has assumed life of its own. It does not matter that such life is imaginary today. Legal persons were brought to life through legal fiction intervention that was based on much less motivation – merely the human incentive for profit. Software is certainly connected today with profit, given that the world’s most valued corporations are software companies. However, it has moved much further than that, to assume in many ways artificial life of its own. We think that it is time that the dichotomy between natural and legal persons, that has served humanity so well over the past centuries, now be trisected: A new, digital person, ought to be added to it.