On the 24th of April 2023 at 16h00 LSTS researcer René Mahieu will publicly defend his doctoral thesis entitled 'The right of access of personal data in the EU. A Legal and empirical analysis'.
The abstract of the thesis reads as follows: This dissertation investigates whether the right of access to personal data, a cornerstone of EU data protection law, is effective in practice. To do so, it first examines from a ‘law on the books’ perspective the purpose and scope of the right. To this end it studies the theoretical genealogy of the right, its legislative history and the decisions – by the European Court of Justice as well as the lower national courts and supervisory authorities. Then it investigates, from a ‘law on the ground’ perspective, how the right functions in practice and whether it is effective in meeting its objectives. By applying interdisciplinary methods from the social sciences, the dissertation offers insights into how citizens, supervisory authorities, civil society and data protection officers experience the right of access to personal data in everyday practice. The main findings are that the introduction of the right had the emancipatory aim of allowing people to defend their rights and interests on the basis of information about themselves. This aim is only partially met, primarily because of a failure to recognize this broad emancipatory aim, and because of low levels of compliance by controllers and lenient enforcement by regulators.
The defence will take place on the VUB Etterbeek campus in room D2.01 and can also be followed online.
You are warmly invited at the reception afterwards. Please register here for the reception not later than 19 April 2023. Are you not able to come in person? You can watch the livestream here. A map of the campus and directions to reach the VUB can be found here. If you are coming by car, please register your numberplate here in advance for easy parking access.