Upcoming Event: Free, Informed and Unambiguous Consent in the Digital Age: Fiction or Possibility

Tuesday 10 July 2018 – 6:00pm to 8:00pm

The Law Society, London

The Law Society and the Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project (HRBDT) are delighted to invite you to a seminar on Free, informed and unambiguous consent in the digital age: Fiction or Possibility.

This research seminar will analyse whether consent can be considered an adequate and meaningful safeguard when it comes to individuals giving access to their personal information, for the purposes of collection, retention or processing. The analysis aims to bring together insights offered, and issues raised by developments in information technology and legal analysis to investigate the ethical, legal, and technical issues. It will be undertaken with reference to the legal framework set up by the European Union General Data Protection Regulation, while also assessing the extent to which this framework complies with international and Council of Europe human rights standards. The aim is to encourage exploration of the issues by working through key questions with the audience.


Registration: 5.30pm

Welcome: 6pm

Tony Fisher, Member and Chair of the Human Rights Committee of the Law Society of England and Wales

Presentations: 6.15pm

Professor Sheldon Leader, School of Law, University of Essex, Director of the Essex Business and Human Rights Project and Member of the Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project

Dr Chris Fox, Reader, School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering University of Essex, Director of the Human Language Technology Group and Member of the Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project

Dr Rachel O’Connell, Founder and CEO of TrustElevate

Questions & Answers: 7pm to 7.50pm

Closing: 8pm

Topics for discussion

  • The limits of consent as a legitimate ground for data collection and use in today’s rapidly evolving technological environment.
  • The parameters that need to be fulfilled for consent to be validly and meaningfully expressed.
  • Whether consent needs to be reconceptualised and whether additional safeguards that could increase the level of individual and collective control over data or otherwise protect against abusive use, are needed.
  • How the GDPR affects the issue of consent.

To register for this event please contact: Olivier.roth@lawsociety.org.uk


This is the third in a series of events organised by the Law Society and the Human Rights, Big Data and Technology (HRBDT) Project, housed at the University of Essex’s Human Rights Centre.

The HRBDT Project, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, analyses the challenges and opportunities presented by the use of ‘big data’ and associated technologies from a human rights perspective. It explores, among other issues, ways in which transnational regulation of multiple states and businesses can be connected within a human rights framework that is used to dealing with single state responsibility.

This interdisciplinary project brings together practitioners, state, industry and United Nations officials, and academics to assess existing regulatory responses and whether reforms are needed in order to maximise effective human rights protection.