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Tilburg University appoints Linnet Taylor as Professor of International Data Governance

Published: 04th October 2021 Last updated: 04th October 2021

Tilburg University has appointed Dr. Linnet Taylor as Professor of International Data Governance effective October 1, 2021. Her research focuses on digital data, representation and democracy, with particular attention to transnational governance issues. As part of this chair she will address many issues, including responsibility and accountability with respect to the design and operation of data technologies and how social justice concerns intersect with the governance of data technologies.

Linnet Taylor

Dr. Linnet Taylor’s research is inherently interdisciplinary and touches on law, social science, economics, and Science & Technology Studies. It focuses on the landscape of data technologies worldwide, including how these technologies are produced, used and regulated. Taylor: “My aim is to understand how fundamental values become translated (or not) into rights and norms in different regions of the world, the extent to which those differing perspectives can or should be reconciled, and how that reconciliation might be done in terms of law, politics and practice.”

In practical terms, the topics Taylor will be dealing with include responsibility and accountability with respect to the design and operation of data technologies; the intersection of rights-based visions of data governance with the political economy of technological innovation, and how social justice concerns intersect with the governance of data technologies. When should we define ‘red lines’ for technologies such as automated decision making or biometrics, how should technology governance take into account the concerns of marginalized and disadvantaged people, and how can we move from high-level principles to concrete governance arrangements?

Taylor’s research is integrated in the Law Schools Signature Plan ‘Regulating Socio-technical Change’. Her chair is embedded in the ‘governance’ segment of this interdisciplinary research program. Work on governance is central to TILT’s research on law, regulation and technology as it involves the study of both the structural conditions under which regulation and normative notions can have effect, and how politics and societal conditions affect the way technology is governed.

Prof. Geert Vervaeke, dean: “Linnet Taylor is a very talented and internationally highly appreciated scholar, who has also shown to be an involved and committed ‘academic citizen’. Her interdisciplinary research and her field of expertise seamlessly fit the identity and ambitions of our Law School always reflecting on the meaning of law and regulation in a changing society. We are very happy that Linnet stays with us and look forward to further our cooperation.”

Linnet Taylor has been teaching and conducting research in data ethics, law and policy at the Law School of Tilburg University in the Tilburg Institute on Law and Technology (TILT) since 2016. In the previous years she worked at the University of Amsterdam (2014-2016, Marie Curie Postdoctoral fellowship), the Oxford Internet Institute (2012-2014), and at  the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK (2007-12), where she defended her PhD.

Taylor’s current research focuses on digital data, representation and democracy, with particular attention to transnational governance issues. Her work on group privacy and data justice is used in discussions of technology governance in countries around the world. She leads the ERC Global Data Justice project, which aims to develop a social-justice-informed framework for governance of data technologies on the global level. The research is based on insights from technology users, providers and civil society organisations around the world. Her work is also currently supported by the Luminate foundation and the EU AI Fund. She is a member of the Dutch Young Academy (De Jonge Akademie) and a co-chair of the NWO’s Social Science roundtable advisory group.

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