Research

Current research

I am working on my doctoral thesis at the Institute for Information Law (Instituut voor Informatierecht - IViR), University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. I started in March 2016 and aim to finalize my thesis in February 2020.

The topic of my doctoral research is news personalization and user rights. News personalization is a new technology used by online news media to serve every individual user a selection of news stories that match their interests and preferences (similar to how we receive online ads and music or movie recommendations on online streaming services). To provide a personalized news service, online news media collect personal data of news users when they use news websites and apps. These data are analyzed to create individual profiles of news users and predict or infer their topical interests and preferences. On the basis of this information, a news website or app selects and ranks for each individual user the news items that are deemed most relevant for them.

In my research, I look at the rights of users of personalized news services, including their privacy, data protection, and information rights. My research is part of the ERC-funded project "Profiling and targeting news readers - implications for the democratic role of the digital media, user rights and public information policy", led by Professor Natali Helberger. Within this project, I closely collaborate with communication scientists.

Previous research

During my research master's at the University of Amsterdam, I conducted research into oversight on national intelligence and security services. Before that, I studied a semester abroad at Cardozo Law School, New York City, where I studied US privacy and internet law. Towards the end of my master's program, I interned at the Rathenau Instituut, the Hague, in a joint project with the Consulate General of the Netherlands in San Francisco. As part of this project, I lived in San Francisco for five months to research the discussion about privacy and the Internet of Things in Silicon Valley. I completed the research master with a thesis on the EU General Data Protection Regulation and profiling of European consumers in the Internet of Things.

During the first few months of my PhD project, I did a side project about oversight on digital surveillance by Dutch law enforcement agencies. Together with Professor Nico van Eijk and Ot van Daalen, I examined to what extent the legislative proposal for the Dutch Wet Computercriminaliteit III (Cybercrime Act III) complied with the fundamental rights to privacy and data protection.

In 2019, I wrote a report for the Council of Europe together with my colleagues Professor Natali Helberger, Judith Möller, Mariëlla Bastian, and Max van Drunen. In our report, we assessed the implications of the use of artificial intelligence in the news sector for the right to freedom of expression as protected by Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.