Cutting-Edge Research Papers at the Intersection of Law and Technology

Pisa, Italy, July 2023. The culmination of months of dedicated interdisciplinary research conducted by the group of our 15 Early-Stage-Researchers (ESRs) has resulted in the publication of six cutting-edge working papers. For more than a year have our ESRs been working together in the Legality Attentive Data Scientist project (LeADS) that brings together aspiring researchers with diverse academic (law, economics, computer science) and cultural backgrounds. The objective: finding answers in a collaborative effort to pressing and emerging questions of today’s data economy and to effectively bridge the existing gaps between law and computer science.

By fostering collaboration between legal scholars and computer scientists, the project demonstrates that research conducted at the intersection of law and data science is a rich, complex and yet necessary task which ultimately yields innovative solutions to complex challenges. The melding of these disciplines allows for a more comprehensive understanding of the legal implications of rapidly advancing technologies. In their working papers, our scholars dived into and explored divers topics such as the definition and implementation of fairness in automated decisions, transparency and relevancy of consent policies, case studies on data access and re-use of vehicle data, or how technology might facilitate the creation of ‘data collaboratives’ where data can be shared in a privacy-friendly way.

The findings have already been presented to a wider scientific audience at prestigious conferences, such as the annual ACM Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency 2023 (FAccT) which this year was held in Chicago. Furthermore, the ESRs will present their research at a conference organised by the LeADS consortium that will take place at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in January 2024.


ESR Barbara Lazarotto facilitates workshop at FARI

On July 13 ESR Barbara Lazarotto participated as an expert facilitating a workshop at FARI – the AI for the Common Good Institute, which aims to enable, promote and perform cross-disciplinary research on Artificial Intelligence in Brussels led by LeADS beneficiary Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB).

The workshop lasted the whole afternoon, and Barbara joined a group facilitating the discussions on the use of Artificial Intelligence to enforce the right to repair products inside the concept of Repair Cafes. Along with participants from civil society and from the industry, the workshop aimed to find solutions for the obstacles faced by repair cafes, such as the lack of tools, spare parts, and information on how to repair multiple objects.

Other topics such as Intelligent Parts Identification, Predictive Maintenance, Virtual Repair Assistance, and Knowledge Sharing Platforms were discussed. Barbara also facilitated the discussion on the other topics. The main findings from the groups were presented to the whole group at the end.

The opportunity to join the workshop was greatly appreciated by Barbara since it gave her the chance to apply in practice concepts of data quality, data portability, and trade secrets.

ESR Fatma S. Doğan at The Young Digital Law Conference 2023

ESR Fatma S. Doğan participated in The Young Digital Law Conference 2023 between 5th-7th July. The conference was organized by the University of Vienna, Department of Innovation and Digitalisation in Law and the Research Platform Governance of Digital Practices Department of Innovation and Digitalisation in Law, and the Research Platform Governance of Digital Practices. Fatma presented her study titled “Digital Discrimination in Healthcare and European Health Data Space Proposal”.

The emerging point of this study comes from technological developments in the medical sphere with the increasing use of AI technologies. Although these enhancements look highly promising, bias in these systems and related outcomes poses a prominent caveat. In her study, Fatma sought the question of ‘how does recently proposed European legislations plan to tackle this problem while putting a specific focus on the European Health Data Space proposal’. The European Health Data Space proposal was introduced last year with aiming to harmonize electronic health data systems of Member States and enable secondary use of health data for new technological developments. The proposal has numerous provisions related to AI systems yet would they bring a solution to bias-related issues in healthcare is open to discussion. Due to the reference to the AI Act proposal, Fatma also included the relevant provisions of the AI Act in the discussion.

The conference was filled with insightful talks and engaging keynote addresses. At the end of the third day of the conference, the final panel took place at the Austrian Supreme Court, which allowed young researchers to witness the incredible atmosphere of the Supreme Court. Fatma also had the opportunity to receive valuable comments and thought-stimulating questions following her presentation.

ESR Barbara Lazarotto moderates “Beyond Data” book discussion


Brussels Privacy Hub organized a book presentation event on “Beyond Data: Human Rights, Ethical and Social Impact Assessment in AI” by Prof. Alessandro Mantelero at the premises of LeADS beneficiary Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

The book explores how data-intensive artificial intelligence (AI) systems have transformed various industries but also how traditional assessment models and procedures, such as data protection impact assessments, are insufficient to address the complex issues associated with AI systems.

ESR Bárbara da Rosa Lazarotto moderated the session where the author together with Prof. Gianclaudio Malgieri and Prof. Sophie Stalla-Bourdillon discussed the thought-provoking book. The author proposes a human rights-centered assessment framework, which considers ethical and societal issues alongside data protection, emphasizing the need to ensure that AI systems respect and uphold fundamental human rights, such as privacy, non-discrimination, and autonomy.

The discussion was recorded and will be soon available on Youtube.

New book: “AI Law – Between Sectoral Rules and Comprehensive Regime”

Artificial intelligence (AI) has undoubtedly become one of the most transformative technologies in recent years. As its capabilities continue to evolve, so do the legal implications surrounding its use. To shed light on this complex and ever-changing field, a newly published book on AI Law titled AI Law – Between Sectoral Rules and Comprehensive Regime has been released, with Prof. Jessica Eynard, an associate professor at the LeADS beneficiary University of Toulouse, serving as its co-editor.

Bringing together a diverse group of forty authors from various corners of the globe, this book delves into the recent legislative advancements in their respective jurisdictions within the emerging field of AI law. By exploring the rapidly evolving landscape of AI legislation, the book aims to compare normative approaches while considering the social, cultural, historical, and legal system differences that may exist between different countries. The contributors to the book hail from countries such as Canada, France, Belgium, the United States, Brazil, Mexico, and Senegal, ensuring a wide range of perspectives and experiences are represented. By including authors from such diverse backgrounds, it becomes possible to evaluate and analyze the different approaches taken by each jurisdiction in addressing the legal challenges posed by AI.

The book aims to provide readers with a comprehensive overview of the current state of AI law globally, allowing for an understanding of the similarities, disparities, and gaps that exist between different jurisdictions. By examining these legislative advancements, researchers, policymakers, and legal professionals can gain insights into the challenges faced by various countries and identify potential best practices or areas for improvement.

More information is available on this website.