ELI Digital Law SIG Held its First Speaker Series


On 4 May 2022, the ELI Digital Law SIG held the inaugural workshop on the ELI Digital Law Speaker Series.

The focus of the workshop was a research paper entitled ‘No Consumer is an Island - Relational Disclosure as a Regulatory Strategy to Advance Consumers Protection Against Microtargeting’ by Antonio Davola (Dr; Postdoctoral Researcher, LUISS Guido Carli University in Rome; Marie Sklodowska Curie Individual Fellow, University of Amsterdam), Ilaria Querci (Dr; Postdoctoral Researcher, Ca' Foscari University of Venice) and Simona Romani (Guido Carli University of Rome). A draft version of the paper can be found here.

The paper explores the risks relating to the unregulated abuse of personalised commercial practices: in particular, it observes that using personalising technologies to match individual users to target audiences and to create predictive profiles might lead to violations of users’ data protection and privacy rules, unjust discrimination based on the analysis of protected factors, and manipulation of consumers’ decision-making. It is no surprise, therefore, that in recent times profiling and micro-targeting is at the centre of scholarly and regulatory debates.

Yet, the paper observes that all the attempts to rethink consumer protection against unlawful personalisation across regulations are based on what can be qualified as an ‘individualised-format’, focusing on the sole relationship between the professional operator and its counterparty. Against this view, a consideration of a ‘relational dimension’ of decision-making is largely absent in the current framework for consumer protection in general, and is missing in the debate on regulating personalisation as well.