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.

New Book: Privacy and Data Protection Seals

Vagelis Papakonstantinou is co-editor of a new book, on “Privacy and Data Protection Seals“, published by TMC Asser Press. The book presents timely and needed contributions on privacy and data protection seals as seen from general, legal, policy, economic, technological, and societal perspectives. It covers data protection certification in the EU (i.e., the possibilities, actors and building blocks); the Schleswig-Holstein Data Protection Seal; the French Privacy Seal Scheme; privacy seals in the USA, Europe, Japan, Canada, India and Australia; controversies, challenges and lessons for privacy seals; the potential for privacy seals in emerging technologies; and an economic analysis. This book is particularly relevant in the EU context, given the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) impetus to data protection certification mechanisms and the dedication of specific provisions to certification. Its coverage of practices in jurisdictions outside the EU also makes it relevant globally.
This book will appeal to European legislators and policy-makers, privacy and data protection practitioners, certification bodies, international organisations, and academics.
Rowena Rodrigues is a Senior Research Analyst with Trilateral Research Ltd. in London and Vagelis Papakonstantinou is a Senior Researcher at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Brussels.

New paper, The right to data portability in the GDPR: Towards user-centric interoperability of digital services

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Vagelis Papakonstantinou new paper with Paul de Hert, Gianclaudio Malgieri, Laurent Beslay and Ignacio Sanchez on “The Right to Data Portability in the GDPR: Towards user-centric Interoperability of Digital Services” to be published in the Computer Law & Security Review, has been pre-published online. Our paper is open access, thanks to a generous grant by EU Commission’s Joint Research Centre.