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Free vs Protected Information Online: Trends, Risks and Possibilities in the Age of Platforms

Photo: Wikipedia / Pierre Selim
Monday, June 29, 2020, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

The current circumstances may have increased the time we spend in front of screens and possibly further raised our awareness of the crucial role played by the management of information online. Defining the problems and putting order in the wide and extremely diverse scenario of online information is not only a very ambitious challenge, but often also an intricate and highly sectorial exercise reserved to experts. Yet, new trends are arising in the digital media world, carrying common risks and similar legislative responses. We start with a focus on the notion of “free information” and “protected information”, highlighting how technical features (such as the deployment of automated decision-making processes) and legislative reforms (such as the update of copyright rules in Europe) fundamentally shape Internet as we know it.

The speakers will talk about trends in European platform governance, and present the findings of the study ‘Operationalizing Research Access: What to Learn from Other Industries?’, published by AlgorithmWatch in cooperation with the European Policy Center and the University of Amsterdam’s Institute for Information Law. They will also discuss how it connects to the Commission's legislative priorities in the area of platform transparency, and cover the “hopes and horrors” in the evolution of European copyright law.


Paddy Leerssen is a PhD candidate at the Institute for Information Law (IViR), University of Amsterdam. His research focuses on platform governance and media law, with a particular focus on the regulation of transparency under European law. Leerssen is also a Non- Resident Fellow at Stanford University’s Center for Internet and Society. He holds two LLMs, from Harvard Law School and from the University of Amsterdam.

Mackenzie Nelson is a Researcher and Project Manager at AlgorithmWatch, a non-profit research and advocacy organization based in Berlin. She heads AlgorithmWatch’s “Governing Platforms” project, which brings together representatives from academia, civil society, platforms and policy to develop evidence-based recommendations for platform governance at the European level. Prior to starting with AlgorithmWatch, she worked in transatlantic policy communications at the Heinrich Böll Foundation's office in Washington D.C. Mackenzie holds an M.A. in Public Administration from the Central European University’s School of Public Policy. Twitter: @kenzie_nelson2

Giulia Priora is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Institute of Law, Politics and Development, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa (Italy) and Affiliated Fellow at CDMS. Her current work focuses on intellectual property law and EU digital policies, with particular regards to copyright and access to knowledge. A list of her latest publications is available at SSRN and ResearchGate. Twitter: @giuliapriora.

Roxana Radu (moderator) is a Research Associate at the University of Oxford’s Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy, working on Internet regulation, algorithms and knowledge production in the public sphere. She is also a non-residential fellow at CMDS. Until May 2018, she was Programme Manager at the Geneva Internet Platform, a dialogue and capacity building center for Internet governance and digital policy and was chairing the non-for-profit Internet Society-Switzerland. Her interdisciplinary research and publications focus on international governance and global Internet policy-making.

Please note that this is an online event, and registration is required to attend. To register, please send an email to