Opendata, web and dolomites


Understanding information for legal protection of people against information-induced harms

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "INFO-LEG" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: WARANDELAAN 2
postcode: 5037 AB

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Netherlands [NL]
 Project website
 Total cost 1˙499˙650 €
 EC max contribution 1˙499˙650 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-03-01   to  2022-02-28


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Information can harm people. Think of being denied mortgage or insurance based on your grocery shopping or online surfing profile. But what exactly is it in information that is harmful, and how can people be protected? The current legal answer is that protection (data protection principles, rights and obligations) is granted when a) there is information b) about or potentially affecting a person c) who is identified or identifiable. This is Personally Identifiable Information (PII). But now that virtually all information is PII, how can law meaningfully protect against information-induced harms? Given modern data collection and processing techniques and unprecedented amounts of data available for analysis, everything can be translated into data and anyone can be identifiable in data sets. Therefore, PII-based legal protection will fail, since a law regulating everything is meaningless. Yet, alternatives for structuring legal protection other than through the concept of PII are lacking. INFO-LEG innovates by looking for substitutes for the notion of PII to fundamentally re-organise legal protection. Promising new organising notions will be found through better understanding of information, how it links to people and harms. The approach is unique in integrating how law, economics, and information studies conceptualise information. INFO-LEG will theoretically and empirically explore external and internal conceptual boundaries of information and produce a multidisciplinary taxonomy of information. The notions from this taxonomy will be assessed on their suitability to substitute PII as new organising notions for legal protection against information-induced harms. The multidisciplinary conceptualisation of information will impact scholarships studying how other areas of law regulate information in digital age: intellectual property (drawing borders of rights in information objects); constitutional law (if data is protected speech); telecommunication and cybercrime.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Inge Graef, Rafael Gellert, Martin Husovec
Towards a Holistic Regulatory Approach for the European Data Economy: Why the Illusive Notion of Non-Personal Data is Counterproductive to Data Innovation.
published pages: 605-621, ISSN: 0307-5400, DOI:
European Law Review 2020-01-29
2019 Linnet Taylor, Nadezhda Purtova
What is responsible and sustainable data science?
published pages: 205395171985811, ISSN: 2053-9517, DOI: 10.1177/2053951719858114
Big Data & Society 6/2 2020-01-28
2018 Nadezhda Purtova
The law of everything. Broad concept of personal data and future of EU data protection law
published pages: 40-81, ISSN: 1757-9961, DOI: 10.1080/17579961.2018.1452176
Law, Innovation and Technology 10/1 2019-06-13
2017 Nadezhda Purtova
Do property rights in personal data make sense after the Big Data turn? Individual control and transparency.
published pages: 208-222, ISSN: 2005-0372, DOI:
Journal of Law and Economic Regulation Vol 10 Issue 2 2019-06-13

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