To those who have interest in Technology Law, as well as its intersection with human rights, we invite you to a series of three public lectures on “Big Data and international protection of human rights: rules and conflicts” read by Associate Professor of International Law at the Catholic University of Milan Gabriele Della Morte. The lectures will be held at RGSL premises on Strēlnieku 4 k-2 on 17, 18 and 19 February at 17:00.
Please register your attendance here:
17 February 17:00 – 19:00, W42
The structure of the cyberspace. In particular: the problems of qualification and of governance.
18 February 17:00 – 19:00, W42
The variable normative framework of the cyberspace. In particular: the regional and sectorial norms on privacy and data protection.
19 February, 17:00 – 19:00, W42
Big Data and international protection of human rights. In particular: the conflicts that can appear protecting different interests in the cyberspace (e.g. protection of data against public security; protection of data against the public interest in access of information; protection of data against protection of democracy).
Outline of the topic
“As stated by Stefano Rodota, a pioneer of the study on this matter, with the uptake of the Internet, «the screen onto which people project their lives is no longer and not only their pc screen; it has enormously expanded and tends to coincide with the entire network space». The above issue is made even more extensive and pressing by two different factors: the transition from the ‘web 1’ to the ‘web 2’, and the transition from the latter to the ‘web 3’. The former refers to the technological advance that allowed the transformation of the so-called free web into the social web (as for the main social networks). The latter highlights the technological transformations that have gradually allowed the spreading of the so-called Internet of things: an integrated communication system, through which devices such as smartphones, GPSs etc. send information by making themselves identifiable through specific technologies, often in order to obtain other data in return (see, for example, the geolocation services).
The problem is that the rules governing cyberspace’s structure and content in general, and the so-called big data in particular, are increasingly clashing with the principles set out in international human rights law. The prediction of similar ‘tension axes’ relies upon the assumption that the logic supporting the entire sequence of creation, preservation, transfer and possible elimination of the various contents (data) available online is ‘predictive’, deriving from the assumption that a problem is computable when it can be solved through an algorithm.
This leads to a general issue: while, on the one hand, fundamental rights normally favour disadvantaged individuals as they naturally support minorities, on the other hand, big data is more inclined to the largest number, strengthening the majority, thus increasing prejudice against the minority (the so-called Dictatorship of Data). Hence, the problem is how to reconcile the regulatory function of law – often expressed in forms of minority protection – with the rationale that increasingly underlies the policies based on data counting, which conversely express the direction of the majorities.
Please register your attendance here:
About the speaker
Gabriele Della Morte is an Associate Professor of International Law at the Law Faculty of the Catholic University of Milan and a Lawyer admitted on the List of Defence Counsel of the International Criminal Court.
He holds a PhD from the University of Palermo together with the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (2003) and a Law Degree with a final result of 110/110 cum laude from the University Federico II in Naples (1998). In addition he has been: Academic Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law, Luxembourg (2016), Visiting Professor at the Université de La Réunion (2019) and at the Université de Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (2014) and Professeur chargé de cours at the Académie de droit international humanitaire et de droits humains of Geneva (2007).
He is author of two monographies on “Amnesties in international law” and on “Big data and international human rights law” and of large amount of articles on international public law, international criminal law, cyber laws etc. He has worked as Legal Counsel at the Rome Conference for the Establishment of the International Criminal Court (1998) and at the Kampala Review Conference of the Rome Statute (2010). Moreover, he served as Defence Counsel at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (2004) and as Law Clerk at the Office of Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (2000).
A complete Curriculum Vitae including publications and conferences is available here: