Премини към основното съдържание

Privatised Surveillance and Privacy in the Digital Era

Dear colleagues,

Master program 'Human Rights Protection' gladly invites you to the next public lecture of the Sofia Public Talks Series. The lecture series are moderated by prof. Dr. Martin Belov, director of the master program and vice dean of the University of Sofia 'St. Kliment Ohridski', Faculty of Law.

The topic of the lecture is 'Privatised Surveillance and Privacy in the Digital Era'.

The lecturer is Dr Niovi Vavoula. She is Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Migration and Security at Queen Mary, University of London. Her research focuses on EU immigration law, particularly on the criminalisation and digitalisation of migration, EU Criminal law and EU Privacy and Data Protection Law. She is the author of the monograph Immigration and Privacy in the Law of the EU: The Case of Information Systems, which examines the compatibility of immigration information systems with the right to respect for private life.

Here is a short summary of the lecture.

A key strand of boosting the collection, analysis and exchange of personal data for law enforcement purposes at EU level has been via the co-option of the private sector, which has been conceptualised as privatised surveillance or co-production of security, reconfiguring the relationship between the private and the public and leading to the mass collection and further processing of a wide range of personal data, which can then be repurposed and used by the state for law enforcement purposes. The private-public cooperation takes place in various forms. Key examples of privatised surveillance are the retention of metadata by telecommunications companies and the transfer of air travellers’ data (passenger name record (PNR) data). The proliferation of legislative activity has been coupled with the emergence of an elaborate case law by the CJEU which has placed limits on state surveillance. The latest trend in deepening the public-private partnership has emerged in the context of online content moderation, whereby several legal instruments have empowered transnational corporations operating in the digital environment as hosting providers to perform quasi-public functions in the transnational context (TERREG, DSA, CSAM). This lecture will take stock of these legislative and jurisprudential developments and analyse how privatised surveillance challenges the rights to privacy in the digital age.


The lecture will take place on 21 March 2023 at 6 pm Sofia time (EET) and will be held via Zoom. If you want to join us please follow this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81518386812