The BPH was established in 2014 by Christopher Kuner and Paul De Hert as a research centre of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), a leading Belgian university based in central Brussels, to serve as a platform for privacy-related research.

The BPH focuses on all aspects of data protection and privacy law (including topics such as Artificial Intelligence), but takes a multi-disciplinary approach and also incorporates expertise from disciplines such as computer security, sociology, and economics.

The members of the BPH have a deep level of understanding of data protection law and policy-making, and extensive contacts with the institutions in the EU and beyond. Besides permanent members, the BPH also hosts visiting scholars (such as regulators and academics) for short or long-term visits.

Brussels Privacy Hub



Prof. Christopher Kuner

Professor Christopher Kuner is professor of law and Co-director of the Brussels Privacy Hub at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). He has taught at the University of Cambridge, the European University Institute, and the Hague Academy of International law, and has been a visiting professor at the University of Copenhagen and at Chuo University in Tokyo. He is currently Visiting Professor at Maastricht University and associate in the Centre for European Legal Studies of the University of Cambridge. He is also a member of the European Commission's Multisectoral Stakeholder Group on the GDPR, and has been involved in the work of international organisations such as the Council of Europe, UNCITRAL, and the OECD. The author of numerous articles and books, Dr. Kuner is founder and editor-in-chief of the law journal International Data Privacy Law, and one of the principal editors of the commentary on the GDPR published by Oxford University Press. He is also Senior Privacy Counsel in the Brussels office of the international law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

Prof. Gianclaudio Malgieri

Professor Gianclaudio Malgieri is Associate Professor of Law & Technology at the EDHEC Business School in Lille (France), where he conducts research at the Augmented Law Institute. He is Co-Director of the Brussels Privacy Hub; Guest Professor at the Free University of Brussels (VUB); Editorial Board Member of Computer Law and Security Review; and External Expert of the European Commission (Research Executive Agency). He  conducts research on and teaches Data Protection Law, privacy, AI regulation, Digital Law, Consumer protection in the digital market, Data Sustainability, Intellectual Property Law.

Core Academic Team

Prof. Paul De Hert

Professor Paul de Hert, former co-director of the Brussels Privacy Hub, currently holds the chair of 'Criminal Law', and 'International and European Criminal Law'. He is the former Co-Director and Senior Member of the Research group Law Science Technology & Society (LSTS) and of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Law. He is Director of the Research group on human rights (FRC) and Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Law and Criminology.

Prof. Vagelis Papakonstantinou

Professor Vagelis Papakonstantinou is the Programme Coordinator of the Summer Academy for Global Privacy Law. He is co-founder of MPlegal Law Firm in Athens and a researcher at LSTS. He provides assistance to the BPH in the Data Protection in Humanitarian Action project ran in collaboration with the ICRC. He has also contributed to the Hub Working Paper Series.

Associated Senior Fellows

Prof. Gloria González Fuster

Professor Gloria González Fuster is the former Programme Coordinator of the Summer Academy for Global Privacy Law. González Fuster is a Research Professor on Digitalisation and a Europe of Rights and Freedoms at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)’s Faculty of Law and Criminology, and co-Director of the Law, Science, Technology and Society (LSTS) Research Group.

Prof. Paul Quinn

Professor Paul Quinn is active in pursuing a number of his research interests at BPH and LSTS, including in areas such as data protection, privacy issues and problems related to stigmatization and discrimination. With respect to the first of these, he has developed an expertise in privacy and data protection issues in the area of health care delivery. He is in particular interested in the evolving use of patient data in health care delivery and has published a number of articles on these issues. In addition in recent years Paul has been active a number or European research projects which have a strong focus on these themes. In doing so he has contributed to the state of the art in terms of what is permissible with patient health data in innovative healthcare contexts involving the use of mHealth and eHealth technologies. He is also interested on the role of the law in regulating scientific research, an interest that stems from his earlier scientific background.

Prof. Hielke Hijmans

Professor Hielke Hijmans is Chairman of the Litigation chamber and member of the Board of Directors of the Belgian Data Protection Authority (“Gegevensbeschermingsautoriteit/Autorité de la Protection des Donnnées).  On a part-time basis, he is affiliated to the Brussels Privacy Hub. He is also guest professor at the Institute for European Studies at the VUB. He is member of the Meijers Committee on EU fundamental rights and teaches at various universities.   He is the author of The European Union as Guardian of Internet Privacy: The Story of Art 16 TFEU (Springer 2016), which was based on his doctorate thesis. 

Until April 2019, he delivered services on a structural basis to the Centre for Information Policy Leadership (Washington, London, Brussels), Considerati (Amsterdam). For 12 years, Hielke served at the offices of the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), inter alia as head of unit policy and consultation. Before joining the EDPS in 2004, he held a post as member of cabinet/legal secretary at the Cabinet of Advocate-General Geelhoed at the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg. Furthermore, Hielke was counselor at the Directorate of Legislation of the Ministry of Justice in The Hague.


Laura Drechsler

Laura Drechsler started her PhD with the Brussels Privacy Hub at LSTS at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in October 2017. Her research focuses on data subject rights in the context of data transfers (research question: what is the role of data subject rights in transborder data transfers?). For this purpose, she focuses on the fundamental right of data protection in Article 8 Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (CFR), data subject rights especially the right of access and data portability, extraterritoriality of data protection, law enforcement data subject rights and international data transfers. For her research she was awarded a PhD fellowship from the Research Association Flanders (FWO). Additionally, she received the 3rd best paper award at the IRIS 2018 conference in Salzburg for her paper on “Data As Counter-Performance: A New Way Forward Or A Step Back For The Fundamental Right Of Data Protection?”. Within the Brussels Privacy Hub, she coordinates the Doctoral seminars.


Alessandro Ortalda


Alessandro Ortalda is doctoral researcher at VUB. He is the training coordinator of the Brussels Privacy Hub. He holds a bachelor degree in History from Ca' Foscari University (Venice, Italy) and a master of social science in International Security and Law from Southern Denmark University (Odense, Denmark), where he graduated in 2015 with a thesis entitled "The international law on the use of force in the context of information technology". 

After his master's degree, Alessandro worked for five years as a cybersecurity consultant, specialising in advisory services to governments and international organisations concerning national cybersecurity issues, cyber-capacity building, national cybersecurity strategy drafting and monitoring, and national digital identity systems.

Vincenzo Tiani


Vincenzo Tiani is a data protection consultant and represents the Brussels Office of the PANETTA Law Firm. He is the Dissemination and Communication Coordinator of the Brussels Privacy Hub.

Graduated at University of Bologna (Italy), he then obtained an LL.M in IP and ICT Law at KU Leuven, deepening his understanding of new technology law.

He first worked at the European Parliament, focusing on European Copyright reform, and then at EDRi, the NGO European Digital Rights that protects the fundamental rights of citizens online. In 2019 he worked as EU Affairs Analyst for CDT, Center for Democracy & Technology, an international organization that protects fundamental rights online and works to keep the Internet free and innovative. Vincenzo is also a Board Member of Hermes Center for Transparency and Digital Human Rights, an Italian NGO for which he follows European legislative developments and their impact on fundamental rights online.

In 2020, he was appointed to the Ministry of Innovation’s Data Task Force to assess the data protection impact of Covid’s contact tracing apps.

Since 2018 he has been an Adjunct Professor at IULM University in Milan where he teaches copyright and data protection.

Since 2017 he has been writing regularly for various Italian publications such as Wired, Vice, Sole 24 Ore, La Repubblica, Domani, StartupItalia about European digital policies. He has been quoted and hosted on newspapers, radio e tv shows such as Euractiv, SkyTg24, Europa 7/24, Linkiesta, Sole 24 Ore.

He also hosts the podcast Panetta Tech News, in which he delves into issues related to new technology law, commenting on the latest news, or discussing them with distinguished guests.

Lina Jasmontaite


Lina Jasmontaite is a PhD candidate at LSTS. She is the Education Coordinator of the Brussels Privacy Hub and co-organiser of the Summer Academy. She has contributed to the Handbook on Data Protection in Humanitarian Action, Hub events and authored the GDPR Workshop Summaries.

Juraj Sajfert

Juraj Sajfert joined the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in October 2019 and is in charge of a research project 'Making transparent invisible surveillance: Digital investigatory measures in the European Union and their compatibility with EU data protection law'. Within the Brussels Privacy Hub, he is the organiser of the Enforcing Europe Webinar Series.

Previosuly, he spent more than five years working for the Data Protection Unit of DG Justice and Consumers at the European Commission, moving from the position of a case-processing lawyer at the European Court of Human Rights. Since 2014, Juraj worked on the development and application of EU data protection law. Juraj has been closely involved in the process of drafting and negotiating the new EU data protection legislation, particularly focusing on the Data Protection Directive for police and criminal justice authorities, the Data Protection Regulation for Union institutions and bodies and data protection rules for the European Public Prosecutors’ Office and Eurojust.

He publishes regularly on topical issues for data protection in the area of law enforcement.

Muhammed Demircan

Muhammed Demircan is the Managing Director of the Brussels Privacy Hub and a PhD candidate in the Law, Science, Technology and Society group. His research includes the interplay between competition law and data protection, in particular in M&A regime, as well as vulnerable data subjects and AI bias. He is a graduate of the Galatasaray University in Istanbul. He has an LL.M. degree on European Legal Studies with full scholarship from the College of Europe in Bruges. His previous experiences includes consultancy work on international IT/C law.


Alessandra Calvi

Alessandra Calvi is the former managing director and event coordinator of the Brussels Privacy Hub. She has been the co-organiser/assistant of the 2020 and 2021 editions of the Summer Academy for Global Privacy Law. Her research interests include the intersection between data protection law, the environment and gender issues. She has been entrusted a mandate to carry out the project 'Enhancing the inclusiveness of smart cities: reinterpreting Data Protection Impact Assessment under the General Data Protection Regulation through intersectional gender lenses' within the framework of the EUTOPIA PhD co-tutelle programme 2021. She is a PhD candidate in the Law, Science, Technology and Society group and in the d.pia.lab at VUB and in the Equipes Traitement de l'Information et Systèmes (ETIS) lab at CY Cergy Paris University.

Andrés Chomczyk Penedo

Andrés Chomczyk is a PhD researcher at LSTS and a MSCA fellow in the PROTECT ITN. His PhD research focuses on disclosure and transparency requirements in the platform economy, using open banking as a case study of the platformization of financial services. He also conducts research on issues related to data protection and privacy in the fintech industry, with several articles and book chapters published on the matter.

Olga Gkotsopoulou

Olga Gkotsopoulou is a PhD candidate at LSTS and provides event assistance for Hub events and activities.

Michalina Nadolna Peeters

Michalina Nadolna Peeters started her PhD with the Brussels Privacy Hub at LSTS in August 2020. She is part of the ALTEP DP project and focuses her research on the cross-border data flows and their interrelation with private international law. Michalina holds a Master of Laws from Adam Mickiewicz University (great distinction) and an LL.M. in European Law from the College of Europe (excellent). At present, she is an advocate trainee at the Warsaw Bar Association. Michalina has worked in-house and in law firms specialising in ICT and data protection law both in Poland and Belgium. She has also gained experience in the public sector during her engagements at the US Congress, Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the European Commission’s DG CNECT.

Mistale Taylor

Mistale Taylor a Senior Research Analyst with the Applied Research and Innovation team at Trilateral Research.  She conducts research into ethics, law, technology and society for European-funded projects.  Her areas of interest include public international law, international human rights law, data protection law and ethics.  Mistale also works for the global pro bono law firm Public International Law & Policy Group (PILPG), which provides free legal assistance to parties involved in peace negotiations, drafting post-conflict constitutions, and war crimes prosecution/transitional justice.  Mistale enjoys teaching IT law and Public International Law in her role as Adjunct Professor at Vesalius College, which is a liberal arts and sciences college affiliated with the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Niko Tsakalakis

Niko Tsakalakis is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Southampton, where he conducts research into data protection by design for emerging technologies. He holds a PhD in Web Science, which focused on effective safeguards for electronic identification data, and has completed postgraduate studies in Web Science and in Dispute Resolution. He has worked as a legal engineer for the project FutureTrust, designing the data protection by design architecture for the electronic services that support the eIDAS Regulation, and is currently overseeing the engineering of data minimisation into AI decision systems for the project PLEAD and into Mobility-as-a-Service systems for the UMIS project. 

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Brussels Privacy Hub

Law Science Technology & Society (LSTS)

Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Pleinlaan 2 • 1050 Brussels



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