Welcome to the Amsterdam Law & Technology Institute
Who We Are
The Amsterdam Law and Technology Institute performs research and teaching in the field of law and technology. This covers a variety of topics ranging from digital services, smart devices, artificial intelligence and biotechnology. What binds the ALTI-professionals is the question of how new technological developments are related to the law. This includes questions such as: do new technological developments fit within the existing legal framework? Are new laws needed to address the problems related to technology? What should these laws look like? Should new technologies be facilitated to exploit their advantages or should they be restricted to see their risks?
Our research and education intends to inspire society at large and in particular a new generation of lawyers, to cover both the law as it is and how it should be, and to bridge the gap between academia and practice. Besides our research ALTI offers around 20 courses, primarily in the bachelor minor “Law, Ethics and Technology,” the master “International Technology Law,” and the Dutch master “Internet, Intellectuele Eigendom en ICT.”
As diverse topics as our researchers cover, we have the following mission: “Investigate how law could and should promote the opportunities and address the challenges of (new) technologies in the light of the public interest and individual rights.”
Our mission leads us: ➝ To analyse how law & ethics constrain and stimulate technology; ➝ To study how law impacts technology, and how to shape the law accordingly; ➝ To assess how technology triggers legal needs; ➝ To explore the socio-legal implications of interaction between humans and technology; ➝ To balance rights and interests at large, in relation to technology; ➝ To value transparency, inclusivity, and diversity.
We represent an initiative of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Law Faculty, Center for Law and Internet, founded in 1984. ALTI operates based on collaborations between academia, research institutes and industry, in all areas of technology innovation
What We Do
The Circle gathers every two months (online) to share ideas at the intersection between law and technological developments. A theme will be shared with all participants several days before each meeting. These meetings consist of a roundtable discussion, with no pre-set presentations or designated speakers. The objective is to create synergies between members of the Circle, and introduce a new voice to the “law & tech” discourse.
Researchers: Dr. Thibault Schrepel (ALTI)
Designed to deceive: how manipulative design in privacy policies affects transparency and user rights
Dynamic Competition Initiative (link)
The Dynamic Competition Initiative (“DCI”) is a research group created in July 2022 with the institutional support of University of California, Berkeley, European University Institute, and the Amsterdam Law & Technology Institute at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. It gathers 30 academics to develop a new theory of potential competition and innovation.
At the heart of the initiative is a belief that a deeper understanding of technological innovation is required for the elaboration of empirically grounded theories focused on the competitive advantage of firms and nations, as well as for proper regulation of dynamically competitive systems. Since technological innovation stems from complex interactions between managers, organizations, institutions, and technologies, studying innovation requires a broad, holistic, and interdisciplinary lens. Evolutionary economics, complexity economics, and the dynamic capabilities framework are important organizing frameworks and theories that can help interpret facts and evidence.
Researcher: Thibault Schrepel
The human rights to privacy and data protection: Modern technologies and the Internet
This research project looks at the primary legislative tools (ECHR and European Charter of Fundamental Rights) concerning privacy and data protection in Europe. Its focus is the interaction of information technologies with privacy and data protection, based on the developments to their interpretation and application deriving from the case-law of the ECtHR and the CJEU. This project aims to reflect upon the doctrines and balances that have been developed in the past decades at European human rights level with regard to privacy, data protection, and information technologies. The aim is twofold: to critically evaluate the relationship between the ECHR and EU charter, and the effects of this relationship on how privacy and data protection protect European citizens from harms coming from modern technologies; and to project the existing human rights framework into the future, discussing emerging and upcoming technologies and their risks to privacy and data protection. The main output of this research project is a book chapter, to be published in an upcoming volume on the European human rights framework.
Researchers: Silvia De Conca, Arno R. Lodder
The Local Regulation of the Platform Economy in the Internal Market
This research project focusses on the room for national and municipal legislators to regulate the platform economy within the European single market. In particular, we focus on the influence of single market rules (Treaties, E-Commerce Directive and Services Directive) on the local regulation of accommodation platforms and the short-term rental market. This includes the question how European internal market law influences policy and enforcement choices by local and national authorities. Methods are interdisciplinary: we combine legal research on the substance of EU law with empirical research on the influence of law on policy and enforcement. As a case study we investigate the regulation of short-term rental services in the city of Amsterdam from 2013 onwards.
Researchers: Dion Kramer, Martien Schaub
Report on Smart Contracts for the European Commission (link)
The deployment of smart contracts within the European zone could fluidify economic transactions. It also risks fragmenting the Digital Single Market (“DSM”). This conundrum calls for a constructive response to preserve both the benefits brought by smart contracts and a strong DSM. Against this background, this report adopts a “law + technology” approach. It suggests combining law and technology to develop solutions that encourage the evolution of smart contracts (rather than hindering it) in a direction that preserves and reinforces the DSM.
Researcher: Thibault Schrepel
ALTI-Professionals are not merely interested in identifying and analyzing problems related to new technologies. We use our knowledge to contribute to solutions. This includes providing input in the public debate and active engagement in public consultations. Concrete outcomes are achieved by involvement in societal organizations, such as Platform Burgerrechten (https://platformburgerrechten.nl/).
Policy Reviews & Expert Analysis. Please be in touch with us for more information [altiamsterdam1 @ gmail.com]