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Brussels Privacy Hub Doctoral Seminar with Simone Casiraghi on 'The rise of institutionalised ethics in the European data protection landscape'

Location: Online
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The Brussels Privacy Hub (BPH) is organising a Doctoral Seminar series to give the opportunity to Ph.D. candidates working on privacy and data protection topics at the Law, Science, Technology and Society (LSTS) to present and discuss their work in progress. The aim of the series is to offer Ph.D. students at all research stages a training ground to refine and practice debating their scientific work, and to receive qualified feedback and questions from their peers and privacy and data protection experts. To this aim, each seminar will include a short presentation by the Ph.D. candidate, followed by an open discussion session with the audience. Seminars are also open to external participants. Find more information here.

On 15 March 2021, Simone Casiraghi will be discussing his PhD project on 'The rise of institutionalised ethics in the European data protection landscape. Investigating the consequences of ethical normative discourses around Artificial Intelligence and their articulations with the law'.


Since at least the 1990s, the European Union (EU) has sought, through ethics advisers, to strike a balance between facilitating and promoting science and respecting the pluralism of European values, as a response to value conflicts related to e.g. biotechnologies.

Today, ethics has entered the regulatory landscape of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and is becoming institutionalized at different levels, such as research ethics committees, ethics expert groups or standardization bodies. Ethics is expected to play a major role in governing digital technologies, which remains nevertheless ambiguous since it often claims to represent an objective point of view while lacking democratic legitimation and checks and balances guarantees. Since different actors invoke ethics in different contexts (e.g. scientific research, policy or industry) to achieve competing purposes, it is urgent to clarify where the ethics work is positioned and how it is articulated, as well as reflect on its effects on the law and other practices for regulating technologies.

This thesis examines the role of ethics in recent policy, legislative and industry-led initiatives in the EU’s AI and data protection European landscape. By articulating the consequences of this phenomenon on what has classically been thought of as data protection and privacy law, it draws lessons from data protection scholarship, moral philosophy and science and technology studies to provide theoretical and practical recommendations.

The link to the event will be send out in due time to the LSTS mailing list. Interested participants wishing to take part, who are not on that mailing list, can register by sending an email to