PANEL: Regulating tech sector transgressions in the EU

The Covid-19 pandemic has spurred intense ‘sector creep’, with firms such as Google, Facebook, Amazon and Palantir seeking new markets and opportunities in global public health. These ‘sphere transgressions’ embed new possibilities for the monitoring and control of public and private life which will not disappear with the waning of the pandemic.

We will bring together researchers and practitioners to discuss and debate the effects of this phenomenon and will also share research from the Global Data Justice Project at Tilburg Law School. We have three aims with this session:

  • To surface this new and rapidly developing phenomenon as a specific issue for the rights community globally, consulting with participants about its manifestations in different places.
  • To connect it to a range of civil and political rights issues, including but going beyond privacy.
  • To debate possible responses on the part of civil society and rights groups.  

Through debating this at the panel, we hope to understand what leverage should be brought to address it – data protection and privacy claims, regulatory measures, civil society awareness-raising and resistance, pressure on government for transparency and democratisation of decision-making, or norm-building in international fora. Our aim is to build a community around this issue – both by surfacing related issues from different countries and regions, and by involving participants actively in the search for responses. We want to connect the privacy community, who have been working on issues related to this for a long time, with those coming from other rights perspectives who may have new insights and responses from their own fields.

The benefits of this session for participants are first, the opportunity to collaboratively build knowledge and participate in research on this emerging phenomenon; second, to empower them to identify it as a new problem and discuss ideas about how to act on it in their local environments, and third, to create the opportunity for a network to grow around this problem and to follow it, and civil society responses, over time in different environments.

The session will be interactive – we hope to use it as an opportunity to learn about new cases of sector creep around the world, and different views on responses.

  • Moderator: Siddharth P. de Souza, Post Doctoral Researcher, Tilburg University/ Global Data Justice Project


  • Usha Ramanathan, Independent Legal Researcher
  • Ouejdane Sabbah, Lecturer/ Project Associate, University of Amsterdam/ Global Data Justice
  • Mariana Rielli, General Project Manager, Data Privacy Brasil Research Association
  • Aaron K Martin, Post Doctoral Researcher, Global Data Justice Project, Tilburg University
  • Scott Skinner-Thompson, Associate Professor, University of Colorado Law School

Check out the full programme here.

Registrations are open until 24 January, 2022 here.