"Harm Agnosticism in International Data Protection" and "Digital Death and Inheritance Law: A Challenging Relationship (and a Call for Harmonisation)"

Event date
18 May 2023
Event time
12:00 - 14:00
Oxford week
TT 4
Faculty Members
Members of the University
Postgraduate Students
IECL teaching room

Professor Ignacio Cofone, Canada Research Chair in Artificial Intelligence Law and Data Governance, Faculty of Law, McGill University, Canada

Dr Valeria Confortini, Department of Human and Social Sciences, University of Naples L'Orientale, Italy


Seminar Format

 A sandwich lunch will be available from 12.00 in the area outside the IECL Teaching Room.

Starting at 12:30, there will be two presentations by Academic Visitors to the IECL: Professor Ignacio Cofone and Dr Valeria Confortini. 

The Seminar will conclude by 14:00.

Please send any access or dietary requirements to the IECL Administrator.


Professor Ignacio Cofone

Harm Agnosticism in International Data Protection  

Data protection law across the world, tasked with regulating the information economy, is under siege for its lack of effectiveness, amidst a global law reform process to achieve adequacy with the GDPR. This process provides an opportunity to reflect on which aspects of the GDPR have proven most effective independent of the specific EU institutional context, showing promise if emulated abroad. This paper suggests that international data protection laws would improve by shifting their focus to risk reduction. Three paths go in this direction: substantive control-independent rules, risk-based standards, and responsibility tied to data practices’ consequences. A desirable reorientation would be three-fold. It would de-emphasize control in data rights, keeping them for person-to-person interactions without relying on them to solve power dynamics in the information economy. It would bolster data protection law’s substantive provisions over procedural ones. It would expand data protection law’s standards that address risks of harm systemically, creating responsibility that can adjust to new harms. 

Dr Valeria Confortini

Digital Death and Inheritance Law: A Challenging Relationship (and a Call for Harmonisation) 

Death in the digital world challenges the traditional approach of inheritance law, which has yet to fully account for digital assets and data, such as social media and email accounts, digital currencies and cloud-based files. 

While many jurisdictions have taken steps toward regulating digital inheritance over the past decade, significant questions remain. These include balancing privacy and data protection, succession in digital assets and contract law. 

The seminar aims to set the landscape of the debate, comparing the solutions of different jurisdictions and highlighting the reasons suggesting the need for legal harmonisation. To this end, the discussion will include whether data protection could be a way to overcome national path dependency of succession law. 


Found within

Comparative Law