Data is political

While data driven technologies, and notably AI, are promised to disruptively revolutionize fields as e.g. finance, law, insurance, HR, communication, transportation, political actors are remarkably silent on the implications of growing use of data in decision-making. The lack of politicization of AI is problematic. While individuals are disengaged and apathetic in safeguarding their data rights, the privatization of traditionally public law functions proceeds in many different domains based on data extraction by private actors. However, many choices currently made on how data is being used is normative in nature and will change the way the societies function, thus warrants some oversight and broader debate. This paper examines different avenues presented in literature, beyond user-centric approaches from the EU data protection and consumer laws, for public oversight of how data is used in algorithmic governance and bringing the society into the decision-making loop.


The online world is increasingly in the daily life of society. Government entities are aware of this scenario and are gradually implementing online access and interconnection tools with citizens. The doctrine has been exalting the use of digital apparatuses. But, it is questioned how the transformation of the State in a digital government will not end up excluding citizens. In Brazil, there is a difficulty of access to computerized networks. The purpose of the essay is to examine this problem. The results show that the Brazilian Public Administration has implemented new electronic mechanisms. However, while some tools cannot be enjoyed by all, others can only be used by those who have a certain purchasing power. Brazilian government needs to be concerned with expanding broadband investments, and improvements in infrastructure before promoting substantial transformations in this sphere, as this will lead to greater social exclusion.


In the last few years the Portuguese Legislative Assembly has passed legislation that regulates secret service access to telecommunication and internet data (i.e., identification, localization, and traffic data). However, the first attempt was declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court and the second attempt also faces a constitutional test. Notwithstanding the effort made by Parliament to consider the legal questions that were raised by the Court, the problem seems to reside in the wording of the legal precept which only permits access to communication data within the framework of a criminal procedure. Consequently, state activities of a more preventive nature linked to the fight against terrorism fall outside the scope of the only constitutional exception to the rule that forbids access to this type of information. Therefore, a constitutional amendment is probably needed to adapt to this challenge posed by twenty-first century life.


The impact of digitalisation is on everyone’s lips and mind.
In Estonia, 99 % of public services are available online. 98 % of people submit their income tax return online, 99 % of health data is digitised. At parliamentary elections 2019, 44 % of the votes were cast online. As the Estonian president says: „Estonia is the only digital nation state“.
Does rights’ protection in a such country need a new approach? Does a digital society have to leave behind the principle ideas of private life and informational self-determination? I aim to propose possible answers to serve as a basis for further discussion.
Only recently, after many years of civil service, where I lastly worked as legal advisor to the President of Estonia, I decided to dedicate myself fully to my academic career. Likewise, my approach aims to provide an overview of „e-Estonia” in „sensu lato”, including its political and cultural roots. This allows for a better comprehension also of the respective legal regulations.

The dangers of legislative nostalgia: the application of received legal categories to new tecnologies

This paper explores how received legal categories can hinder regulation of IT technology, by analyzing the debate regarding Uber in Chile, where its legislator is currently discussing a new legal regulation of the services provided by transportation network apps. The Chilean case provides an illustrative example, given the tendency of the bill under discussion to assimilate these new activities to pre-existing legal categories, which belong to old regulatory schemes.

From the Chilean experience, I will attempt to show the unsuitability of received legal categories through the analysis of the regulatory proposals of the draft bill that is being discussed.