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Rosamunde Elise Van Brakel

Assistant Professor and Postdoctoral Researcher, VUB


Dr. Rosamunde Van Brakel is a criminologist who works as an Assistant Professor and postdoctoral researcher at the Law, Science, Technology and Society Research Group of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). She teaches and coordinates the course Legal, Ethical and Social Issues of Artificial Intelligence and coordinates the VUB Research Chair in Surveillance Studies. She is currently the supervisor of WP10 of the Horizon2020 project Observatory for Political Texts in European Democracies, co-PI of the FWO project: Smart Video Surveillance in Smart Cities: Deconstructing Security and Surveillance Discourses and IBOF Project Future-proofing Human Rights. Developing thicker forms of accountability.  She is also co-director of the Surveillance Studies Network and board member of Privacy Salon and the Ministry of Privacy.

She has been studying the social, ethical and legal consequences of (algorithmic) surveillance technologies in the public sector since 2006. Since finishing her PhD in 2018 she has been conducting research on the democratic governance of surveillance, crime control and risk assessments and AI. She has been involved as an expert for the Belgian government in 2020 (Expert working group Coronalert app) and was an expert witness for the UK House of Lords Justice and Home Affairs Committee inquiry on new technologies and law enforcement in 2021 and was invited to speak in 2022 at the hearing of the European Parliament PEGA inquiry ‘Spyware used against citizens’.

She studied educational sciences and criminology at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and the University of Ottawa. Previous experiences include working as a policy assistant for the Representative of the Flemish Government in the UK and as a researcher for the Belgian Ministry of Justice. In the past at the VUB she has conducted research on freedom infringements of transport security technologies and evaluation and certification schemes for security products in the context of the EU FP7 projects SIAM and CRISP. From 2014-2015 she was seconded to work as a research fellow for the Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy on the project: Big Data, Privacy and Security. In addition, she has been managing director of the annual Computers, Privacy and Data Protection conference (2013-2021) and co-founder and executive director of the non-profit organization Privacy Salon (2014-2022).