Book launch: Cybersecurity, Privacy and Data Protection in EU Law. A Law, Policy and Technology Analysis by Dr. Maria Grazia Porcedda (TCD)

The launch of Cybersecurity, Privacy and Data Protection in EU Law. A Law, Policy and Technology Analysis by Dr. Maria Grazia Porcedda and published by Hart Publishing, an imprint of Bloomsbury, took place at the Senior Common Room of Trinity College Dublin on April 19th 2023. The book launch was supported by the PSAI’s Book Launch fund.

The launch began with an address by TJ McIntyre, Associate Professor in the Sutherland School of Law at University College Dublin and Chairperson of the advocacy group Digital Rights Ireland and by Dave Lewis, Associate Professor in the School of Computer Science at Trinity College Dublin, Director of the Knowledge and Data Engineering Group (KDEG) and ad interim Director of ADAPT, the Irish Centre for AI-Driven Digital Content Technology. The speakers noted the book is the first to cover the interplay between fundamental rights and the nascent field of cybersecurity law and policy, and commended the relevance of its methodology and findings for other policy areas, such as Artificial Intelligence.

The launch was moderated by Mark Bell, Regius Professor of Laws and Acting Head of School, and finished with a speech by the author, Maria Grazia Porcedda, who discussed how the book came to life and explained its key message. On the occasion, colleagues, friends and family members gathered to learn more about the book, copies of which were made available by the Legal Bookshop.

About the book

‘Cybersecurity, Privacy and Data Protection in EU Law. A Law, Policy and Technology Analysis’ investigates how cybersecurity, privacy and data protection, ‘the triad’, interact and can be reconciled within the European Union. The institutional and legal framework of the EU bars zero-sum games between security and rights and makes room for different modes of co-existence, which the book explores.

The book takes a comprehensive approach by researching cybersecurity, privacy and data protection individually and their relationship in all areas of EU policy-making along three axes: policy, law and technology. Thus, the book explores how the interplay between the triad plays out in flagship policy documents and more than fifteen legal instruments. At its heart, the book looks at cybersecurity, privacy and data protection as techno-legal objects: given the common denominator of cyberspace, data and information, all instruments must eventually be translated into some sort of technological application. Such a level is dominated by informal and voluntary mechanisms that have distorting effects on policy and the law.

The book thus uncovers a number of dynamics, such as the effacement of technology from the law and the indeterminacy loop, which force the relationship between cybersecurity, privacy and data protection into a balancing act that, while procedurally correct, substantively exposes the triad to the risk of zero-sum games and imperils the achievement of cybersecurity, privacy and data protection. The book calls for a re-engagement with lawmaking at the level of technology, which is challenging amidst tensions for geopolitical competition over technology and cyber-sovereignty, but which must be tried nonetheless.

Dr. Maria Grazia Porcedda is Assistant Professor in Information Technology Law at the School of Law at Trinity College Dublin.

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