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Does the GDPR Prohibit Automated Decision-Making?

den 16 mars 2022, kl. 12:00 till 13:00

Article 22 is one of the most discussed articles of the GDPR. Scholarship has focused on many aspects of this cryptic article: its scope of application, the right to be informed about automated decision-making, the notion of appropriate measures to safeguard the data subject’s legitimate interests, etc. Among these elements, the talk will focus on article 22 (1) of the regulation.

In particular, it will concentrate on the interpretation of the “right not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing”. The ambiguous formulation of this right has led to two antagonistic interpretations. The first, supported by the ex-Article 29 Working Party qualifies article 22(1) as a general prohibition. In this interpretation, controllers cannot make decisions based on automated processing unless one of the exceptions of article 22(2) applies. In a conflicting interpretation, legal scholars have shown that the wording of article 22(1) and the travaux préparatoires of the regulation favour the interpretation as a right to object to automated decision-making. Controllers can therefore make a decision based on automated processing and data subjects have a right to object unless one of the exceptions of article 22(2) applies.

Certain Member States have already favoured one of the interpretations. France, for example, has chosen to establish a general prohibition of automated decision-making in its loi informatique et libertés. However, if the European Court of Justice would explain that the GDPR entails a mere right to object, such a general prohibition would be incompatible with the regulation.

Speaker: Liane Huttner

Liane Huttner is a PhD candidate at Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. Under the supervision of Professor Judith Rochfeld, her research focuses on data protection and the law of algorithms. Her thesis will provide a conceptual frame for the interpretation and application of article 22 of the GDPR. She also works on Catala, an interdisciplinary project which aims to create a computer language adapted to the law.

Her work has appeared in the Répertoire Dalloz, the Sorbonne Law Review and the Revue de Droit Fiscal. In 2019, she was a visiting fellow at the Institute of European and Comparative Law of the University of Oxford and at the Maison française d’Oxford. In 2021, she was part of the Institute Scholarship Program at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg. She has taught many courses in Private Law such as Contract Law and Tort Law. Since 2020, she teaches a master’s class at University Paris 1 on Law and New Technologies.

Discussant: Eduardo Gill-Pedro

Eduardo is Associate Senior Lecturer in Law and AI and Ragnar Söderberg Senior Research Fellow at the Faculty of Law, Lund University. He is currently conducting a research project focused on the fundamental rights of companies in European law. In addition he has recently started a project on Law and AI, focusing on the role of corporations in AI governance.

Eduardo’s doctoral thesis, defended it Lund in 2016, was awarded the René Cassin Thesis Prize 2017 by the International Institute for Human Rights and is published by Routledge under the title EU Law, Fundamental Rights and National Democracy. Eduardo lectures extensively in EU Law and human rights law at Lund University. In addition, he has been a Guest Lecturer at Gothenburg, Stockholm and Uppsala Universities, and a member of the ‘flying faculty’ of the China-EU Law School in Beijing. Prior to joining academia, Eduardo worked in the Legal team of Liberty, the UK’s leading civil rights organization, and of Friends of the Earth, an environmental NGO. He has an LL.B from the University of Essex, an LL.M from Stockholm University and an LL.D from Lund University, and he is a (non-practicing) member of the Bar of England and Wales.

Please register by Tuesday, 15 March 2022. Registered participants will receive Zoom link on 16 March 2022 in the morning.


Associate Professor and board member of the Institute of European Law, Claes Granmar

Detta seminarium ägde rum den den 16 mars 2022