Understanding and regulating the data-driven economy

Data has been conceptualized as the ‘new oil’ and although this is a flawed statement, it captures well the value attached to data as a driver of economic growth and innovation, and as a force of change in all facets of societal life. Accordingly, data has emerged as an important topic in contemporary law and policy. On the one hand, because it is critical to understand whether and how different societal areas have been affected by digital transformations, including disruptive phenomena like Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI). On the other hand, because governance toolkits, including legal rules, need to adapt to reflect these implications. Despite the urgency attached to both tasks and the intensified mobilization of policy and research efforts to address them, the topic of data-driven transformation has been explored in a fragmented manner. The domain of trade law has been particularly slow to react – neither do we have a full understanding of the impact of digitization on the entire body of global trade rules, nor have we seen adequate legal adaptation. To put it plainly, despite living in times of industries 4.0, trade rules are grounded at 1.0.

The “International Economic Law and Internet Law” Research Chair seeks to address such governance challenges and contribute to better and future-proof solutions that can not only promote digital innovation but also safeguard vital public interests and fundamental rights, such as those in the area of privacy protection.

Other key topics in the research and teaching activities of Prof. Mira Burri are in the areas of digital copyright, cultural law and policy in the digital age, data protection, platforms regulation and other themes at the intersection of law and technology.