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Repair Cafés for Digital Rights

Repair Cafés for Digital Rights

The Repair Cafés for Digital Rights - Brussels took place in the academic year 2020/21.

Who has your data? How can you know? Would you like to get a copy of it? Wondering for what they are using it exactly? Do you want them to just forget about you and erase it all? Or to change something? Or perhaps you would rather have your data transferred to somebody else, hoping they will use it better?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) gives you the right to ask (for) all this.

However, it’s not always easy to use your data protection rights. Join us at the Repair cafés for digital rights to get personalised help!

Volunteering experts will support you in exercising your digital rights, in English, French and Dutch.

Send an email to

Repair Café for Digital Rights Talk – The Platform Economy

Thursday 17 June 2021

17.00 –18.30 (Brussels local time)


Currently, platform workers are fighting Uber in the Amsterdam court, over the use of their GDPR rights, to collectively gain more agency over their situation. The decision by the court in first instance provides a lot of food for discussion and has been framed as win by both sides. Against this background we will discuss the impact of the rise of the platform economy on the social construction of public space and the possible resistance or (counter-) empowerment by digital rights.

We will be joined by Anton Ekker and Paul-Olivier Dehaye. Anton Ekker is the lawyer for ongoing litigation in which Uber and Ola drivers demand data transparency with regards to these platforms. Paul Olivier-Dehaye is founder of and the HestiaLabs project which support people and collectives in using digital rights to gain transparency in various digital infrastructures (such as political microtargeting, MOOC platforms and dating apps).

If  you  wish  to  join  the Café, you can register here, and visit our website for more information about the Repair Café project.

The Repair Café will be held fully online. Before the Café, a link will be sent to everyone who has registered to join. 

The first Repair Café for Digital Rights

The first Repair Café for Digital Rights - Brussels took place digitally on Thursday 18 February 2021 from 17.00 - 19.00 (Brussels local time). Please find here the pdf fileinvitation (37 KB) and the pdf fileagenda (51 KB).

This first café started with an introduction of the basic digital rights, such as the right of access to personal data and the right to be forgotten, and presented an overview of a variety of ways in which these rights are being used to critically examine the ‘smart city’, and the challenges typically encountered. For this we were joined by members of noyb (none of your business), a European enforcement platform, who have ample experience in supporting people in exercising their digital rights.

Afterwards, volunteers were available to support individuals in exercising their digital rights, by providing guidance in English, French and Dutch.

If you wish to join this Café, please send us an email, and also have a look at the pdf filefive rules for participants (43 KB). The rules for participants are also available in Dutch pdf filehere (45 KB) and in French pdf filehere (47 KB).

Introducing the Repair Cafés for Digital Rights

Data protection laws like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) aim at empowering individuals by putting in their hands strong digital rights. Using these rights, individuals should be able to understand and 'control' how the data about them are being used, and to push back against unlawful uses. Exercising digital rights can also help to better grasp who knows what about whom in the city, how are certain decisions taken, and how could these decisions be contested. In practice, however, exercising digital rights is not always easy. It can require some legal and technical expertise that not everybody has. It may demand patience, and being reassured. It might benefit from the sharing of difficulties with others.

The Repair Cafés for Digital Rights initiative innovatively explores ways to make sure that the digital rights that individuals have are effectively strong. Concretely, it will probe the possibility for volunteers to help interested data subjects and other urban actors in overcoming the practical obstacles in the exercise of their rights, in view of further empowering them also through this very sharing of experiences. Beyond that, the initiative will help identifying which are most recurrent obstacles, and assess the relevance of digital rights in the urban environment.

Repair Cafés for Digital Rights - BXL

The Repair Cafés for Digital Rights - Brussels (BXL) is an ongoing project coordinated by VUB's Law, Science, Technology & Society (LSTS) in collaboration with VUB's Department of Electronics & Informatics (ETRO), and funded by the Brussels Centre for Urban Studies (BCUS).


Practical resources for the exercise of digital rights: a collection of materials such as online templates made available by data protection authorities and others.

Resources about digital rights in the city: resources on the interesections between the city and digital rights.

Additional resources about data subject rights: additional knowledge on data subject rights.

Past events

3rd Repair Café for Digital Rights - Brussels, Monday 28 June 2021 from 18:00 – 19:00 (Brussels local time) (online).

4rd Repair Café for Digital Rights - Brussels, Monday 26 July 2021 from 18:00 – 19:00 (Brussels local time) (online).


For more information, please contact Digital Rights Cafés.

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