Nordic centre for internet and society

Talk at the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development

On Oct 17, Prof. Samson Esayas, NCIS member, spoke at the Ministry of Local Govt. The talk, centered on his Ph.D. research, earned him the King's Gold Medal in the previous year.

On October 17, NCIS member Samson Esayas from BI Department of Law and Governance gave a talk for the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development (Kommunal- og distriktsdepartementet). The talk was given to the people working in the IT and data protection policy Section of the Ministry on October 17 at Voksenåsen Hotell.

Central themes

The talk was based on Samson´s Ph.D dissertation, which looks into how big tech companies collect, analyse and monetize users´ personal data to provide precise advertisement, and the challenges this business model poses for the application of EU data protection and competition law.

Samson Esayas

Over the last few years and decades, technology companies, such as Google and Meta, whose core business model is built around the monetisation of users´ personal data, have grown massively in size and influence. Samson spoke about some of the threats and challenges that commercialisation of personal data pose for the data privacy rights of individuals and their enforcement. Amongst other things, Samson pointed to the current lack of rules to address emergent privacy risks, such as the overexposure of the individual and the loss of practical obscurity. Furthermore he emphasised the need of a more holistic approach to tackle the commercialization of personal data and its implications.

The King's Gold Medal (Hans Majestet Kongens gullmedalje)

As a result of his PH.D, Samson was one of seven people who was awarded the King's Gold Medal (Hans Majestet Kongens gullmedalje) in 2021. The medal is awarded to an outstanding young researcher who has provided a vital contribution to his or her field of research based on dissertations assessed at the University of Oslo.  The award has been given since 1995 and comes with the opportunity to have an audience with the King.