The Future of Privacy

Hosted by the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method

In-person and online public event (Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building)


Dr Orla Lynskey

Dr Orla Lynskey

Dr Elin Palm

Dr Elin Palm

Professor Alex Voorhoeve

Professor Alex Voorhoeve


Dr Thomas Ferretti

Dr Thomas Ferretti

Prominent ethical and legal frameworks claim that governments and businesses can permissibly process personal information, under specific conditions, as soon as data subjects give their consent. This already justifies constraints on personal data processing practices to secure free, informed, and unambiguous consent, as well as to respect the context in which consent was given. But consent is not the whole story.

Processing personal data without consent may be permissible in some cases when other “legitimate interests” are at stake, such as national security or fraud prevention: so, how to balance privacy and other legitimate interests? On the other hand, emerging accounts of privacy propose that obtaining individual consent is sometimes insufficient to justify personal data processing. If giving away one’s personal data reveals information about others, or if coordination failure leads to suboptimal privacy for all, collective privacy decisions may be required. To elucidate these challenges, our panelists will discuss puzzling examples such as user privacy on social media platforms, wearable devices for employees in workplaces, and data processing in health or migration governance.

Meet our speakers and chair

Orla Lynskey (@lynskeyo) is an Associate Professor at the LSE Law School (UK) and a Visiting Professor at the College of Europe. She teaches and conducts research on data protection, technology regulation, digital rights and EU law. Her book, The Foundations of EU Data Protection Law offers academics, policy-makers, and practitioners a coherent vision for the future of our right to data protection.

Elin Palm is Senior Associate Professor in the Department of Culture and Society at Linköping University (SE). She does research on the ethics of surveillance in workplaces and migration governance. Her publications include Privacy Expectations at Work—What is Reasonable and Why?

Alex Voorhoeve is a Professor in the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His interests include the philosophy of public policy, the allocation of resources for health care, and the ethics of privacy. He recently published on What makes personal data processing by social networking services permissible? (Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 2022, with L. Wolmarans).

Thomas Ferretti is a Fellow in Philosophy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He works on topics that intersect with political philosophy, business ethics, and challenges raised by emerging technologies in workplaces. His publications include An Institutionalist Approach to AI Ethics: Justifying the Priority of Government Regulation over Self-Regulation

More about this event

This event is part of the Philosophy Live series.

The Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method (@LSEPhilosophy) at LSE was founded by Professor Sir Karl Popper in 1946, and remains internationally renowned for a type of philosophy that is both continuous with the sciences and socially relevant.

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