External PhD candidate
Andjelka Petreski is since January 2010 connected to eLaw - Center for Law and Digitital Technologies, as an external PhD candidate.
Andjelka Petreski graduated in 2008 from Leiden University, obtaining an LL.M. degree in Law, with a specialisation in Civil Law. Prior to Law School, she earned a master’s degree in History from Leiden University. During the masters programme General History she specialised in the History of Ideas. Andjelka graduated with her master thesis on John Dewey’s criticism of Plato’s and Aristotle’s philosophical tradition. Subsequently, she started part-time law school at Leiden University. During the master’s programme Civil Law she focused on the legal issues in the contractual relationship between players and developers of massively multiplayer online games. She obtained her LL.M. degree with her thesis on the proprietary issues of gamers of massively multiplayer online games such as World of Warcraft. Her master thesis got nominated for both the Leiden University Thesis Prize and the faculty Jongbloed Thesis Prize in 2010.
During her History and Law Studies, Andjelka worked for the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. Since 2008 she is working for the Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa), currently Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM), as a senior advisor.
Andjelka is particularly interested in the way information technology influences existing structures of society, and challenges its legal, philosophical and ethical foundations.
Her Phd research is about the central role providers of online services play in today's information and network society. Today's society is digitising at a rapid pace. Consequently, we have become dependent on various internet services that constitute new forms of interaction (social and otherwise) and information access. The inability of obtaining access to these services can leave people disconnected from new forms of interaction and information. Online service providers offer applications and services that play an important and natural part in people's daily lives. This includes, for example, the exchange and storage of data (personal or otherwise), maintaining social contacts, playing online games, streaming movies and music.
Access to online services has become of essential significance to users of these services. In an information and network society, users become dependent on the services of online service providers for access to information, their personal data, social networking and various lifestyle activities such as gaming and music. As online service providers de facto control user information placed in their care, they are usually in a position where they can assert influence over their relationship with users. In many cases, switching providers proves to be difficult as users could potentially lose all of their social contacts, virtual objects in games, music playlists and so on. Technical restrictions in data migration such as the lack of interoperability and standardisation of service create barriers to switching to the competition. Furthermore, users are regularly confronted with contract terms on a 'take-it-or-leave-it' basis. Contract terms and conditions are usually more designed towards protecting the interests of online service providers and less aimed at the mutual well-being of both parties.
This research attempts to investigate the relationship between users of online services and their providers. Specifically, the study focuses on the level of dependence and interdependence in the relationship between users and online service providers. Using three case studies, this research assesses whether the interests of parties are sufficiently guaranteed by law. The case studies provide a closer look at three of the most used online services: (i) online data storage in clouds, (ii) online gaming and (iii) social networking services.