We are Tilburg University

We are Tilburg University


My name is Esther Keymolen and I am an Associate Professor at the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (Tilburg University). I have  a background in philosophy of technology and postphenomenology. I also hold a Bachelor’s degree in pop music. My research focuses on the role of trust, trustworthiness and privacy in networked and smart environments. In particular, I focus on the first-person perspective, so what does trust and trustworthiness means for a user of an AI application.  In my book Trust on The Line, I developed a conceptual trust model, which I apply to analyze different topical cases, such as: Airbnb, smart cities, smart toys, digital hotel keys, and personalized online advertisement.  My work has also appeared in several newspapers, documentaries, and on Dutch television. Previously, I worked for the Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR) and at Leiden University (eLaw, Centre for Law and Digital Technology).


With a background in philosophy of technology and data ethics, I analyze the way in which technologies mediate our interactions with ourselves, other people, and the world around us. The starting point of my research is, therefore, that to understand how people go about their privacy in everyday life, we have to examine how they place trust in technologies. My research is multidisciplinary in nature. Methodologically, it relies on case studies and refers to practical problems. Theory-building on experiential aspects of privacy contributes to research in philosophy of technology as well as to socio-legal debate about privacy and data protection. Understanding privacy through the lens of trust leads the discussion in a promising direction, with more attention to data subjects’ expectations, vulnerabilities, and changing values inherent in a mediated trust relation.


Recent publications

  1. Spioneren met hobbydrones en andere technologieën door burgers - Een …

    Galič, M., Noorman, M., van der Sloot, B., Koops, B-J., Cuijpers, C., Gellert, R., Keymolen, E., & van Delden, T. (2020). Spioneren met hobbydrones en andere technologieën door burgers: Een verkenning van de privacyrisico’s en reguleringsmogelijkheden. TILT-Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology and Society. https://www.wodc.nl/onderzoeksdatabase/3063-waarborgen-tegen-privacyrisicoes-hobbydrones-en-spionageproducten.aspx
  2. In search of friction - A new postphenomenological lens to analyze hu…

    Keymolen, E. (Accepted/In press). In search of friction: A new postphenomenological lens to analyze human-smartphone interactions. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology, 25(3). https://poseidon01.ssrn.com/delivery.php?ID=543090115005102092071112096094089031000088051011052055098095017112029126031086099022038102053054023043125069121113078031120091105039082035013125031093030074010106116038055022079082011117116095069113004081015021076116089091125027122000097093024000064022&EXT=pdf
  3. Op het eerste gezicht - Een verkenning van gezichtsherkenning en priv…

    Keymolen, E., Noorman, M., van der Sloot, B., Koops, B-J., Cuijpers, C., & Zhao, B. (2020). Op het eerste gezicht: Een verkenning van gezichtsherkenning en privacyrisico’s in horizontale relaties. WODC / Ministerie van Justitie. https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/binaries/rijksoverheid/documenten/rapporten/2020/04/20/tk-bijlage-wodc-rapport-op-het-eerste-gezicht/tk-bijlage-wodc-rapport-op-het-eerste-gezicht.pdf
  4. To solve the coronacrisis virus - Click here

    Keymolen, E. (2020). To solve the coronacrisis virus: Click here. In E. Aarts, H. Fleuren, M. Sitskoorn, & T. Wilthagen (Eds.), The new common (pp. 130-135). Tilbug University Press.
  5. WP3 - Literature review

    Keymolen, E., van der Sloot, B., & Erkin, Z. (2020). WP3: Literature review. CBS.

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