Thursday, 12 October 2017

“Jurisdiction, Conflicts of Laws and Data Protection in Cyberspace”

Jointly organised with the Brussels Privacy Hub, the Conference ‘Jurisdiction, Conflicts of Laws and Data Protection in Cyberspace’ intends to contribute to the ongoing discussion on the challenges to the protection of privacy in the Digital Age.

Thanks to the Internet, people who are thousands of miles apart can effortlessly engage in social interactions, business transactions and scientific dialogue. As pointed in by John Perry Barlow in his famous ‘Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace’, all these activities rely – more or less consciously – on sophisticated data-exchanges which take place ‘ both everywhere and nowhere’, lying outside the borders of any particular State.

Against this backdrop, the regulatory challenge posed by the ephemeral nature of the information exchanged via the Web – and of the Web itself – is twofold. While Private International Law struggles to frame the allegedly borderless nature of cyberspace within the dominant discourses of law and territoriality, Data Protection Law has to reconcile the individuals’ fundamental right to privacy with the public interests connected to the processing of personal data.

The conference will explore some of the most controversial issues lying at the intersection between these two areas of law, by addressing, in particular, the problems arising in connection with cross-border telematics exchanges of data in the field of biomedical research and the contractual relationships stemming from social networking and the use of social media.

14:00 Welcome Address:
Prof. Dr Burkhard Hess
, Director of the MPI for Procedural Law Luxembourg
Prof. Dr Christopher Kuner, Co-Director of the Brussels Privacy Hub at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel
14:15 Panel 1: Data Protection and Fundamental Rights Law: the example of cross-border exchanges of biomedical data – the case of the human genome
Chair: Prof. Dr Jan von Hein, University of Freiburg im Breisgau
Speaker: Dr Fruzsina Molnár-Gábor, The Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities
Discussant: Prof. Dr Paul De Hert, Co-Chairman of the Brussels Privacy Research Hub at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel
15:15 Panel 2: Territorial Scope of Law on the Internet
Chair: Prof. Dr Christopher Kuner, Co-Director of the Brussels Privacy Hub at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Speaker: Prof. Dr Dan Svantesson, Bond University, Australia
Discussant: Prof. Dr Gerald Spindler, University of Göttingen
16:30 Coffee break
16:45 Panel 3: Contractual Issues in Online Social Media
Chair: Prof. Dr Dan Svantesson, Bond University, Australia
Speaker: Prof. Dr Alex Mills, University College London
Discussant: Prof. Dr Heike Schweitzer, Freie Universität Berlin
17:45 Round Table: Future Challenges of Private International Law in Cyberspace
Advocate General Henrik Saugmandsgaard Øe, Court of Justice of the European Union
Prof. Kevin D. Benish, New York University School of Law
Prof. Dr Gloria Gonzalez Fuster, Vrij Universiteit Brussel
Dr Cristina Mariottini, Co-Rapporteur, ILA Committee on the Protection of Privacy in Private International and Procedural Law
18:30 Cocktail reception

Event Poster Download

If you are interested in participating in this conference, please send your reservation request with your contact details (first name, surname and affiliation) to or contact Martina Winkel: (+352) 26 94 88 923.

The participation is free of charge.

Max Planck Institute Luxembourg
4, rue Alphonse Weicker
L-2721 Luxembourg