Meet the team
The members of the BPH have a deep level of understanding of data protection law and policy-making, and extensive contacts with the institutions in the EU and beyond. Besides permanent members, the BPH also hosts visiting scholars (such as regulators and academics) for short or long-term visits.
Prof. Christopher Kuner
Professor Christopher Kuner is professor of law and Co-director of the Brussels Privacy Hub at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). He has taught at the University of Cambridge, the European University Institute, and the Hague Academy of International law, and has been a visiting professor at the University of Copenhagen and at Chuo University in Tokyo. He is currently Visiting Professor at Maastricht University and associate in the Centre for European Legal Studies of the University of Cambridge. He is also a member of the European Commission’s Multisectoral Stakeholder Group on the GDPR, and has been involved in the work of international organisations such as the Council of Europe, UNCITRAL, and the OECD. The author of numerous articles and books, Dr. Kuner is founder and editor-in-chief of the law journal International Data Privacy Law, and one of the principal editors of the commentary on the GDPR published by Oxford University Press. He is also Senior Privacy Counsel in the Brussels office of the international law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.
Prof. Gianclaudio Malgieri
Professor Gianclaudio Malgieri is Associate Professor of Law & Technology at the EDHEC Business School in Lille (France), where he conducts research at the Augmented Law Institute. He is Co-Director of the Brussels Privacy Hub; Guest Professor at the Free University of Brussels (VUB); Editorial Board Member of Computer Law and Security Review; and External Expert of the European Commission (Research Executive Agency). He conducts research on and teaches Data Protection Law, privacy, AI regulation, Digital Law, Consumer protection in the digital market, Data Sustainability, Intellectual Property Law.
Alessandro Ortalda is doctoral researcher at VUB. He is the Managing Director of the Brussels Privacy Hub. He holds a bachelor degree in History from Ca’ Foscari University (Venice, Italy) and a master of social science in International Security and Law from Southern Denmark University (Odense, Denmark), where he graduated in 2015 with a thesis entitled “The international law on the use of force in the context of information technology”. After his master’s degree, Alessandro worked for five years as a cybersecurity consultant, specialising in advisory services to governments and international organisations concerning national cybersecurity issues, cyber-capacity building, national cybersecurity strategy drafting and monitoring, and national digital identity systems.
Executive Team Member
Liubomir Nikiforov is a PhD researcher at the VUB. He has a Master’s from the European Master in Law and Economics with a thesis topic focused on the “right to explanation” (GDPR). Previously, he defended a Bachelor’s in International Relations from the University of Sofia. Liubomir has also worked in EU institutions and national governments as well as in the private sector.
Program and Dissemination Coordinator
Vincenzo Tiani is a data protection consultant and represents the Brussels Office of the PANETTA Law Firm. He is the Dissemination and Communication Coordinator of the Brussels Privacy Hub.
Graduated at University of Bologna (Italy), he then obtained an LL.M in IP and ICT Law at KU Leuven, deepening his understanding of new technology law.
He first worked at the European Parliament, and then at EDRi and CDT, two international organizations that protect fundamental rights online. Vincenzo is also a Board Member of Hermes Center for Transparency and Digital Human Rights, an Italian NGO member of the EDRi network.
In 2020, he was appointed to the Ministry of Innovation’s Data Task Force to assess the data protection impact of Covid’s contact tracing apps.
Since 2018 he has been an Adjunct Professor at IULM University in Milan where he teaches copyright and data protection.
Since 2017 he has been writing regularly for various Italian media about European digital policies. He also hosts the podcast Panetta Tech News, in which he delves into issues related to new technology law, commenting on the latest news, or discussing them with distinguished guests.
Bárbara da Rosa Lazarotto
Managing Coordinator Summer Academy
Barbara Lazarotto is a Ph.D. researcher at LSTS and a Marie-Sklodowska Curie Action’s Fellow at Legality Attentive Data Scientists – LeADS Project. She researches public-private data sharing, focusing on data sharing processes in smart cities, aiming to improve the protection of data subjects’ rights in a context of datafication.
Barbara holds a Bachelor in Laws from the University of Porto and a Master in Judiciary Law from the University of Minho, Portugal.
Prof. Sophie Stalla-Bourdillon
Scientific Coordinator Summer Academy
Sophie Stalla-Bourdillon is Senior Privacy Counsel and Legal Engineer at Immuta, the leading data security SaaS solution for data science. She is also a visiting professor at the University of Southampton Law School of law, where she held the chair in IT law and Data Governance.
Sophie is the author and co-author of several legal articles, chapters and books on data protection and privacy. She is Editor-in-chief of the Computer Law and Security Review, a leading international journal of technology law, and has also served as a legal and data privacy expert for the European Commission, the Council of Europe, the Organisation for the Cooperation and Security in Europe, and for the Organisation for Economic Development and Cooperation.
Pablo Trigo Kramcsák
Doctoral Seminars Coordinator
Pablo Trigo Kramcsák joined LSTS in January 2021 as a PhD student, funded by the “Becas Chile scholarship in digital transformation and technological revolution”, awarded by the Chilean National Research and Development Agency.
His PhD research focuses on legitimate interest as an appropriate lawful basis for processing Artificial Intelligence training datasets, addressing the difficulties involved, risks, and potential impacts on data subjects’ rights and freedoms. Pablo also conducts research on issues related to lawful grounds for data processing, tensions between the use of AI systems and existing data protection rights, and legal requirements for automated decision-making systems.
He has over 8 years of experience as a Chilean government official (Chilean Transparency Council, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Consumer Service), dealing with information technology, e-commerce and privacy, cross-border data flows, and cybersecurity issues.
Pablo obtained his LLB degree from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and holds an LL.M. degree in International Law from the University of Heidelberg and the University of Chile.
Michaël Van den Poel
Events & Communications Assistant
Michaël Van den Poel is Events & Communications Assistant at the Brussels Privacy Hub. He is currently a Master of Laws student in Economic Law at the VUB.
Associated Senior Fellows
Prof. Paul De Hert
Professor Paul de Hert, former co-director of the Brussels Privacy Hub. He is the former Co-Director and Senior Member of the Research group Law Science Technology & Society (LSTS) and of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Law. He is Director of the Research group on human rights (FRC) and Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Law and Criminology.
Prof. Gloria González Fuster
Professor Gloria González Fuster is the former Programme Coordinator of the Summer Academy for Global Privacy Law. González Fuster is a Research Professor on Digitalisation and a Europe of Rights and Freedoms at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)’s Faculty of Law and Criminology, and co-Director of the Law, Science, Technology and Society (LSTS) Research Group.
Prof. Hielke Hijmans
Professor Hielke Hijmans is Chairman of the Litigation chamber and member of the Board of Directors of the Belgian Data Protection Authority (“Gegevensbeschermingsautoriteit/Autorité de la Protection des Donnnées). On a part-time basis, he is affiliated to the Brussels Privacy Hub. He is also guest professor at the Institute for European Studies at the VUB. He is member of the Meijers Committee on EU fundamental rights and teaches at various universities. He is the author of The European Union as Guardian of Internet Privacy: The Story of Art 16 TFEU (Springer 2016), which was based on his doctorate thesis. Until April 2019, he delivered services on a structural basis to the Centre for Information Policy Leadership (Washington, London, Brussels), Considerati (Amsterdam). For 12 years, Hielke served at the offices of the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), inter alia as head of unit policy and consultation. Before joining the EDPS in 2004, he held a post as member of cabinet/legal secretary at the Cabinet of Advocate-General Geelhoed at the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg. Furthermore, Hielke was counselor at the Directorate of Legislation of the Ministry of Justice in The Hague.
Prof. Paul Quinn
Professor Paul Quinn is active in pursuing a number of his research interests at BPH and LSTS, including in areas such as data protection, privacy issues and problems related to stigmatization and discrimination. With respect to the first of these, he has developed an expertise in privacy and data protection issues in the area of health care delivery. He is in particular interested in the evolving use of patient data in health care delivery and has published a number of articles on these issues. In addition in recent years Paul has been active a number or European research projects which have a strong focus on these themes. In doing so he has contributed to the state of the art in terms of what is permissible with patient health data in innovative healthcare contexts involving the use of mHealth and eHealth technologies. He is also interested on the role of the law in regulating scientific research, an interest that stems from his earlier scientific background.
Prof. Vagelis Papakonstantinou
Professor Vagelis Papakonstantinou is co-founder of MPlegal Law Firm in Athens and a researcher at LSTS. He provides assistance to the BPH in the Data Protection in Humanitarian Action project ran in collaboration with the ICRC. He has also contributed to the Hub Working Paper Series.
Muhammed Demircan is a PhD candidate in the Law, Science, Technology and Society group. His research includes the interplay between competition law and data protection, in particular in M&A regime, as well as vulnerable data subjects and AI bias. He is a graduate of the Galatasaray University in Istanbul. He has an LL.M. degree on European Legal Studies with full scholarship from the College of Europe in Bruges. His previous experiences includes consultancy work on international IT/C law.
Juraj Sajfert joined the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in October 2019 and is in charge of a research project ‘Making transparent invisible surveillance: Digital investigatory measures in the European Union and their compatibility with EU data protection law’. Within the Brussels Privacy Hub, he is the organiser of the Enforcing Europe Webinar Series. Previosuly, he spent more than five years working for the Data Protection Unit of DG Justice and Consumers at the European Commission, moving from the position of a case-processing lawyer at the European Court of Human Rights. Since 2014, Juraj worked on the development and application of EU data protection law. Juraj has been closely involved in the process of drafting and negotiating the new EU data protection legislation, particularly focusing on the Data Protection Directive for police and criminal justice authorities, the Data Protection Regulation for Union institutions and bodies and data protection rules for the European Public Prosecutors’ Office and Eurojust. He publishes regularly on topical issues for data protection in the area of law enforcement.
Alessandra Calvi is the former managing director and event coordinator of the Brussels Privacy Hub. She has been the co-organiser/assistant of the 2020 and 2021 editions of the Summer Academy for Global Privacy Law. Her research interests include the intersection between data protection law, the environment and gender issues. She has been entrusted a mandate to carry out the project ‘Enhancing the inclusiveness of smart cities: reinterpreting Data Protection Impact Assessment under the General Data Protection Regulation through intersectional gender lenses‘ within the framework of the EUTOPIA PhD co-tutelle programme 2021. She is a PhD candidate in the Law, Science, Technology and Society group and in the d.pia.lab at VUB and in the Equipes Traitement de l’Information et Systèmes (ETIS) lab at CY Cergy Paris University.
Michalina Nadolna Peeters
Michalina Nadolna Peeters started her PhD with the Brussels Privacy Hub at LSTS in August 2020. She is part of the ALTEP DP project and focuses her research on the cross-border data flows and their interrelation with private international law. Michalina holds a Master of Laws from Adam Mickiewicz University (great distinction) and an LL.M. in European Law from the College of Europe (excellent). At present, she is an advocate trainee at the Warsaw Bar Association. Michalina has worked in-house and in law firms specialising in ICT and data protection law both in Poland and Belgium. She has also gained experience in the public sector during her engagements at the US Congress, Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the European Commission’s DG CNECT.
Laura Drechsler started her PhD with the Brussels Privacy Hub at LSTS at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in October 2017. Her research focuses on data subject rights in the context of data transfers (research question: what is the role of data subject rights in transborder data transfers?). For this purpose, she focuses on the fundamental right of data protection in Article 8 Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (CFR), data subject rights especially the right of access and data portability, extraterritoriality of data protection, law enforcement data subject rights and international data transfers. For her research she was awarded a PhD fellowship from the Research Association Flanders (FWO).
Olga Gkotsopoulou is a PhD candidate at LSTS and provides event assistance for Hub events and activities.
Niko Tsakalakis is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Southampton, where he conducts research into data protection by design for emerging technologies. He holds a PhD in Web Science, which focused on effective safeguards for electronic identification data, and has completed postgraduate studies in Web Science and in Dispute Resolution. He has worked as a legal engineer for the project FutureTrust, designing the data protection by design architecture for the electronic services that support the eIDAS Regulation, and is currently overseeing the engineering of data minimisation into AI decision systems for the project PLEAD and into Mobility-as-a-Service systems for the UMIS project.
Andrés Chomczyk Penedo
Andrés Chomczyk is a PhD researcher at LSTS and a MSCA fellow in the PROTECT ITN. His PhD research focuses on disclosure and transparency requirements in the platform economy, using open banking as a case study of the platformization of financial services. He also conducts research on issues related to data protection and privacy in the fintech industry, with several articles and book chapters published on the matter.
Mistale Taylor a Senior Research Analyst with the Applied Research and Innovation team at Trilateral Research. She conducts research into ethics, law, technology and society for European-funded projects. Her areas of interest include public international law, international human rights law, data protection law and ethics. Mistale also works for the global pro bono law firm Public International Law & Policy Group (PILPG), which provides free legal assistance to parties involved in peace negotiations, drafting post-conflict constitutions, and war crimes prosecution/transitional justice. Mistale enjoys teaching IT law and Public International Law in her role as Adjunct Professor at Vesalius College, which is a liberal arts and sciences college affiliated with the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.