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"Are You a Vulnerable Data Subject Because You'Re Female?" - Reflections on Data Subjects' Vulnerability from the Feminist Perspective

Location: Online
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This Gender, Technology and Law session will be animated by prof. Gianclaudio Malgieri (EDHEC Business School in Lille) and is entitled: "Are You a Vulnerable Data Subject Because You'Re Female?" - Reflections on Data Subjects' Vulnerability from the Feminist Perspective.

The session is free to attend, but registration is required. To register, please follow this linkShould you face any difficulties with your registration, please send an e-mail to Olga Gkotsopoulou (LSTS) or Carlotta Rigotti (FRC).



"Who is the data subject?" is a question that few data protection scholars tried to reply so far. Apart from formalistic replies, the question implies some deeper analyses: "Do the "characteristics" of the data subjects matter when interpreting the GDPDR principles, rights and accountability duties? Should we consider some special categories of data subjects?". And - more importantly - "who is a vulnerable data subject?"

The notion of subject's vulnerability is an emerging topic in many different fields. While in the data protection field the discussion is not mature yet, we could get important inspirations from other fields. One area of inspiration is political philosophy and, in particular, the feminist approach and gender studies.

We can observe a real intellectual polarization in those fields: from one side the universalist of approach of many gender scholars (ButlerFinemanDodds, McKenzie), from the other side the particularistic approach of several other bioethicists (ColeGoodin). According to the first approach, every human is vulnerable, and any additional "label" of vulnerability can lead only to stigmatisation and "pathogenic vulnerability". According to the second approach, some subjects are more vulnerable than others (in particular, women are more vulnerable - i.e. subject to adverse effects - than men in many contexts: workplace, education, etc.).

A third way might be the "layered" theory of a feminist bioethicist (Luna): where the contextual and relational (even temporary) nature of vulnerability is a proposed solution. But how to put it in practice? This is an open issue that the seminar will try to address in the follow-up discussion.


Speaker's bio:

Gianclaudio Malgieri is an Associate Professor of Law & Technology at the EDHEC Business School in Lille, where he conducts research at the Augmented Law Institute.  He obtained a PhD in Law at the Law, Science, Technology and Society of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, where he is Affiliated Researcher. He is member of the Editorial Board of Computer Law & Security Review (Elsevier) and Law&Business Journal. He conducts research on data protection, GDPR, vulnerable data subjects, automated decision-making, privacy and fundamental rights, data ownership, intellectual property, consumer law.

He received the 2020 Future of Privacy Award. He is also Attorney at Law and external expert of the European Commission for the ethics and data protection assessment of research proposals. He was Training Coordinator for the Brussels Privacy Hub.

He got an LLM with honours at the University of Pisa and a JD with honours at S.Anna School of Advanced Studies of Pisa. He was visiting student at the LSE, World Trade Institute, École Normale Superieure and Oxford University. He authored more than 45 publications including articles in leading international law reviews, the Italian Handbook on the GDPR and the editing of a special issue of CLSR. He is peer reviewer of CLSR, IDPL, Federal Law Review, Big Data and Society, etc.