The Research Centre in Information, Law and Society



18th and 19th November 2021 - Time to Re-shape the Digital Society

International Conference celebrating the 40th (+1) Anniversary of the CRIDS

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CRIDS Presentation

The Research Centre in Information, Law and Society is focused on a wide spectrum of information society-related topics, such as electronic communications, privacy, intellectual property, e-commerce, e-government, e-health, big data, cyber-security, the sharing economy, e-journalism, digital literacy, algorithmic governance and network sociology.

The CRIDS addresses the many faces of the information society, guided by three principles:

  • An interdisciplinary and rigorous research: research at the CRIDS aims at mixing the approach and expertise of various disciplines from human sciences.
  • Practical and responsible knowledge: the expertise of the CRIDS is firmly based on the issues and challenges of society, and stems from researchers who are fully aware of their specific position and the consequences of their work.
  • A democratic development of the information society: in all issues raised by the digital age, the CRIDS promotes fundamental rights and democratic values that should be conveyed by the technologies and tools of the information society.

Research Description

The CRIDS is an interdisciplinary center with members belonging to the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Computer Science and the Faculty of Economics, Social Sciences and Business Administration. CRIDS is divided into six research units.

Liberties & Information Society Unit

The LIS unit conducts research on data protection rules and the right to freedom of expression in all the sectors of human activities (public services and administration, healthcare, scientific research, law enforcement, insurance, banking, etc.) as sectors were progressively impacted by new technologies (Big Data, datamining, cloud computing, machine learning or AI, etc.) and through various themes such as transfer of personal data outside Europe, whistleblowing, cybersecurity, data protection authorities, e-government, smart cities, e-health, e-archiving, CCTV, profiling, surveillance or cloud computing services.

Intellectual Property Unit

The IP unit has focused its research over the last four years on the following areas:

  • Artificial intelligence and creations in relation to copyright law and patent law;
  • Intellectual Property Law as a case study for predictive justice;
  • Copyright and digital exceptions;
  • Intellectual property, rights in information and data, open licenses and open data.

E-Commerce Unit

The e-Commerce research unit analyses the legal issues raised by digital technology in the areas of business law, contract and tort law (contracts and liability), with specific focus on the new legal provisions or projects at the EU or Belgian level (evidence, trust services, electronic payments, digital content, consumer protection, medical devices, etc.) and on new trends or disrupting technologies (big data, IA, blockchain, platforms, etc.).}

Electronic Communications Unit

Investments in ultra-fast broadband infrastructures - including optical fibre and 5G - have become one of the main arguments to justify regulatory intervention, as reflected by the new general policy objectives of the new European Electronic Communications Code adopted in December 2018. The unit's researchers advised the European Commission and the European Parliament during the legislative process. They wrote one of the main comments on the new Code. Currently they are involved in projects relating to the transposition of the European Code at national level and the preparation of guidance by the European Commission for the application of this Code. The unit's core expertise relates to the complementary role of regulation and competition in spurring (or stifling) the deployment of new technologies. Also, its research extends to content related aspects like the application of ex ante methodologies to platform regulation and the consequences of new transmission and provision modes for the regulation of AVMS.

Communication and Internet Unit

The Communication and Internet Unit has focused its research over the last four years on the following areas:

  • Digital media literacy in the context of collaborative work practices and in the context of self-writing practices (digital identity);
  • Digital literacy and digital education in schools;
  • Critical technology education (robots, algorithms, artificial intelligence, etc.)
  • Gender issues in digital education.

Technology, Ethics & Society Unit

The research led by UTES aims at (1) exploring the social norms and the ethical values embedded in information systems (IS) and their impacts on the relationships to oneself, to the others and to the world; (2) developing pragmatic methodologies to foster ethical deliberation of IS in their concept and design.



Contact: Hervé Jacquemin