Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT)

TILT studies emerging technologies and their impact on the individual and society, recognizing the interplay between technology, regulation and fundamental values & human rights.

TILTing Perspectives 2015

Under Observation: Synergies, benefits and trade-offs of eHealth and surveillance

TILTing Perspectives 2015 took place on 22-23 April 2015, in Tilburg. The theme of this edition was: ‘Under Observation: Synergies, benefits and trade-offs of eHealth and surveillance’.

The conference succeeded in its ambition to generate new synergies, insights and interactions between the scholars from these related fields, which are rarely brought together. The three keynotes gave a great start to such synergies and cross-disciplinary exchanges. 

Luciano Floridi

Luciano Floridi talked about the modern information and communication technologies blending the border between the diegetic information ('available within a given environment') and non-diegetic information ('available only outside a given environment'), and lead to transdiegetisation of the infosphere (where information 'can be available inside or outside a given environment in a dynamic way').

He then discussed how e-Health takes advantage of this merger of off-line and on-line spaces, for instance, through wearable devices such as Apple Watch.


Henriette Roscam Abbing, a grande dame of the European health law, talked about the legal aspects of one’s health and wellbeing being ‘under observation' by means of modern information and communication technologies.

She also reflected on how the latter challenge the former.                      


Mireille Hildebrandt shared excerpts from her new book in her talk about 'new animism in data-driven healthcare’, i.e. the transformative impact of the data-driven agency on healthcare. 

The conference received excellent evaluations from the participants with regard to the overall theme and quality of the presentations and panel discussions. The conference offered participants 15 presentations of original research on the topics related to the law and economics of personal (health) data, surveillance for risk management in vulnerable groups, relationship between personalized healthcare, autonomy and self-determination, and surveillance theories. These will feed into an edited volume published by Springer in late 2015. 

Prior to the full conference, TILT held a full-day ‘paper roast’ workshop’, a new element to the TILTing conference, where 3 papers aiming to bring innovative insights into their respective areas of scholarship were discussed in detail. The workshop participants liked the concept of a ‘paper roast’ and commented positively on the uniqueness of such a possibility to discuss one’s work on such a level of detail. The results of the workshop will feed into a special issue of a peer-reviewed journal.