Author: Brahim Zarouali

Judith on a Danish mission

Judith Möller was invited to the AI 360 Human Brain workshop in Copenhagen on 21-22 March 2019. The workshop brought recognised experts together in rights and ethics, law, social science, culture, politics and economy for a multi-dimensional and thorough treatment of AI and its implications for our future societies. The outcome of AI 360 | COPENHAGEN is a report delivered to the European Commission, the Human Brain Project, and feed into a Europe-wide citizen engagement process on AI during the summer and autumn of 2019.

expert workshop about media diversity

On Thursday February 14th, Natali and Judith organized an expert workshop about media diversity policy options in data-driven media markets. They first introduced their report about filter bubbles in the Netherlands they have written for the Dutch media authority (Comissariaat voor de Media), and then discussed implications with European media and market regulators.

The report will be published publicly soon!

Jef Ausloos wins award for legal-empirical research

Jef Ausloos presented his legal-empirical research on the right of access in EU data protection law, together with Pierre Dewitte. Their research received the Privacy Papers for Policymakers award from the Future of Privacy Forum, and was presented with four other papers at the US congress in Washington DC. In this research, Jef Ausloos tested online service providers’ compliance with data subject rights on the ground (open access available here).



Panelling it at CPDP 2019

At the CPDC conference (30/01 – 01/01), Team Personalised was involved in two panels. The first one was named “DATA IS (POLITICAL) POWER!” and was organised by IViR & ASCoR. Natali Helberger was the chair of the panel, and Tom Dobber the moderator.  The panel focused on i) understanding the concept and implications of social platforms, ii) examining if, and why the political power of social platforms is problematic, and iii) exploring the role of law and policy in providing necessary checks-and-balances.

To view the entire panel discussion, click here.


The second panel was titled “Influence or Manipulation? What protections in the digital world?”, with Judith Möller as one of the members. The goal of this panel was to discuss in a multidisciplinary way the issues raised by online manipulation, including topics as nudging, manipulation based on exploitation of human biases, prevention tools to reduce manipulation, the role of the media in this context, and many more.

This panel debate is also fully available. To watch it, click here (with Judith’s talk at min. 39:00).

BEL – NL research exchange meeting

On Monday February 11th, we had the kick-off workshop of the newly established Dutch-Belgian network of research teams working on various topics regarding algorithmic personalization. IViR hosted this first workshop, which included the research teams ATAP, DIAMOND, Mintlab and NewsDNA from Belgium, and Personalized Communication I and 2, Personalized News and Fair News from The Netherlands (University of Amsterdam). The goal was to acquainted with each others work, learn from our research experiences, think about common challenges, and and foster future collaborations. The second BEL – NL workshop will take place in September, on Belgian soil.

Science Fiction & Information Law Award

Science fiction and information law have more in common than meets the eye. This inspired the Institute for Information Law (UvA) to organize the ‘Science Fiction & Information Law Writing Competition’ for the very first time. Many authors from all over the globe submitted a story for this competition. At this event, the nominated science fiction stories will be discussed by information law scholars, who will reflect on the possible normative ramification, what the role of law is to promote or rather prevent such a future, or how law in such a future would look like.

The event will take place on February 22nd, from 5.00-6.30 PM. Click here to register.

The honored one: Claes de Vreese!


On Thursday February 8th, Claes de Vreese won the NefCA “Senior” Career Award at the Etmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap. The jury decided that de Vreese  embodies a career of outstanding achievements in Communication Studies with a significant impact on academic scholarship, as well as societal challenges. Given that Claes has -by far-not yet reached the senior days of his academic career, the jury voted to re-name the award to the ‘NefCA Career Award’. Congratulations Claes!

Expert Judtih at a training seminar!


In the beginning of February, Judith Möller was invited to speak at an expert training seminar organised by the European Election Observatory and Democracy Support (EODS). In this seminar, she shared her expertise on online campaigning & social networks for an audience of officials that monitor and observe democratic elections abroad.

Opinion: Jef’s view on 15 years of Facebook

This week we saw the first episode of a three-part documentary on Belgian television, looking back at 15 years of Facebook. In an amusing experiment, the journalists launched a targeted ad campaign for parsnip, just in the tiny village of Eeklo. Two weeks later, it turned out sales of the forgotten vegetable had gone through the roof. Jef Ausloos was asked to write an opinion piece on this first episode. In this opinion piece, Jef explains that our main concern with Facebook – and big tech players more broadly – should not (just) be privacy, but the erosion of autonomy and freedom.

Click here to read the entire piece on the VRT website (in DUTCH).

Award winning Mariella!


Mariella Bastian was chosen for the Dissertation Prize 2018 of TU Dortmund University (Germany) for the Faculty of Culture Studies. Her PhD thesis is entitled “Media and Accountability in Latin America. Framework – Conditions – Instruments”. The prize will be awarded on January 23 at TU Dortmund University. Congratulations Mariella!