Universiteit Leiden

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Michiel Rhoen

External PhD candidate

M.H.C. Rhoen
+31 71 527 5200

Michiel Rhoen is an external PhD student at eLaw since January 2014.

More information about Michiel Rhoen


Michiel Rhoen is a fire prevention specialist and active duty fire officer at the Veiligheidsregio Utrecht Fire Service. He has a bachelor’s degree in applied Physics (1993), graduated from the Dutch professional Fire Service Officer training programme (1999) and studied law part-time from 2005 until 2013. His master thesis was one of three finalists for the Internet Scriptieprijs in 2012, exploring the free speech consequences of a “three strikes” copyright enforcement regime.

Michiel researches the legitimacy of the privacy effects of big data for consumers, and the possibilities for achieving adequate privacy protections through contract and tort law.


Two recent trends, Big Data and Cloud Computing, have the potential to cause significant harm to consumer privacy. Data routinely collected during the use of digital services enables detailed profiling. These profiles are usually used in commerce and traded to third parties. Profiling now happens on an unprecedented scale, has a vast scope and can be extremely detailed. Consumers cannot opt out of their being profiled without giving up a significant part of modern life.

The use and possible abuse of profiling data by private entities may constitute a violation of art. 8, ECHR if national governments fail to provide an effective framework for preventing privacy violations or does not provide effective remedies against abuse. The current legal framework is possibly not in compliance with art. 8, not even when the proposed EU data protection regulation is accounted for. The research project aims to describe the necessary and sufficient elements of a legal framework for big data and cloud computing that duly accounts for the personal autonomy of consumers, without preventing the benefits of big data altogether.

Supervisors: Prof. Mr. Gerrit- Jan Zwenne and Dr. T. van der Linden-Smith.


External PhD candidate

  • Faculteit Rechtsgeleerdheid
  • Instituut voor Metajuridica
  • eLaw@Leiden

Work address

Kamerlingh Onnes Building
Steenschuur 25
2311 ES Leiden
Room number flex



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