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The conference – organized with the support of the Amsterdam Center for Transformative Private Law (ACT) and the European Commission – will explore practices that illustrate the promises and perils of online personalization as a result of the widespread use of emerging technologies in order to identify potential regulatory cornerstones to address personalizing techniques. This way, the event will create a medium for discussion on how to establish a conceptual regulatory framework in the face of systematic involvement of personalization into contemporary society.
Event details of Regulating Personalization in the European Union
Start date
22 September 2022
End date
23 September 2022


Nowadays, the majority of online interactions is based on users’ profiling, and individuals’ data is increasingly used as a tool to elaborate and deliver personalized messages, products and services while they are surfing on the internet. Platforms can personalize different aspects of users’ experience, ranging from what users can observe on the web, the modes of the offers, the features and the prices of products that are presented to them.

In general terms, there is consensus that these practices can be welfare enhancing if properly regulated. At the same time, risks related to unregulated abuse of personalized commercial practices are present and significant: using personalizing technologies to match individual users to target audiences and even to create predictive profiles might result, inter alia, in violation of users’ data protection and privacy, unjust discrimination based on the analysis of protected factors, manipulation of users’ decision-making, and exploitation of vulnerabilities. In addition, it is unclear if, and under which conditions, personalized practices could impact on individuals’ capacity to develop their preferences consciously and autonomously, therefore undermining their autonomy and self-determination.

These risks operate at the crossroads of different interests and rights related to individuals and to markets as a whole; it is no surprise, therefore, that in recent times profiling and micro- targeting came at the center of the scholarly and regulatory debate. Inter alia, the capability of data protection law, competition law, consumer law, and private law as efficient modes of regulation has been thoroughly inspected. Still, despite their ubiquity, personalization algorithms and the associated large-scale collection of personal data still largely escape public scrutiny, and a sound policy agenda for the regulation of personalized interactions does not seem to be found.


September 22nd

13.15 Welcome and Opening remarks – Prof. Marija Bartl, University of Amsterdam

13.45– 14.30 Keynote Speech – Prof. Hans-Wolfgang Micklitz, (European University Institute)

Session I (14.45 – 16.15)

  •  Prof. Hans Christoph Grigoleit (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München) - Ambivalence of Personalization – Specifying the Issues of Personalized Marketing and Personalized Law
  • Prof. Joasia Luzak (University of Exeter) - Personalised consumer information: Protection paradox
  • Dr. Candida Leone (University of Amsterdam) - Standard terms and Personalization

Moderator: Dr. Fabrizio Esposito (NOVA School of Law, Lisbon)

Coffee Break

Session II (16.30 – 18.00)

  • Dr. Inge Graef (Tilburg University) – Competition law and personalization: towards personalized markets and market power over individuals?
  • Dr. Antonio Davola (University of Bari “Aldo Moro” – University of Amsterdam) – Relationality in decision-making and its potential in regulating personalization
  • Prof. Karin Sein (University of Tartu) – Remedies and sanctions under EU law for abuse of personalization

Conference Dinner


September 23rd

Session III (9.30 – 11.00)

  • Dr. Anna Van Duin (University of Amsterdam) – Personalization, Content Moderation & Access to Justice
  • Prof. Eric Tjong Tjin Tai (Tilburg University) - Knowledge, power or care? A legal perspective on personalisation
  • Prof. Giovanni Sartor (University of Bologna)

Moderator: Dr. Francesca Episcopo (University of Amsterdam)

Coffee Break

Session IV (11.15 – 12.45) 

  • Prof. Natali Helberger (University of Amsterdam) - Between commerce and politics: the regulation of political microtargeting
  • Prof. Mireille Hildebrandt (Radboud University) – Profiling and the autonomous subject in private law
  • Prof. Christoph Busch (University of Osnabrück) - Personalized Law in Context

Moderator: Prof. Giovanni Comandé (Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa)


Session V (13.30 – 15.00) 

  • Prof. Vanessa Mak (Leiden University) - Transformation of the Consumer Image. How can consumer interests be protected when consumer identities are increasingly diffuse?
  • Prof. Mateja Durovic (King’s College London) - Is personalised consumer law the future of consumer law?
  • Dr. Catalina Goanta (Utrecht University) - Social media contracts and good faith as a personalisation tool.

Moderator: Dr. Madalena Barreto Torres de Mendonca Narciso (Maastricht University)

16.30 Concluding Remarks – Prof. Chantal Mak (University of Amsterdam)

17.00 Drinks and farewell

Roeterseilandcampus - building A

Room 301
Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
1018 WV Amsterdam