The Digital Law Center hosted a guest lecture of Prof. Henry E. Smith (Harvard Law School, HLS) who is visiting our Law School in the framework of the interinstitutional agreement that our Law School has with HLS on October 18, 2022 on the topic:
Is there Property in Data?
Property and the Principles for a Data Economy
The guest lecture was organized with the support of the Harvard Club of Switzerland
How data should be brought within property, if at all, has emerged as one of the most urgent questions in private law and for regulation in various areas.
Earlier this year, the American Law Institute (ALI) and the European Law Institute (ELI) approved their joint Principles for a Data Economy (https://www.principlesforadataeconomy.org/).
These principles address many of the issues about control of data and transactions involving the use and transfer of data, while avoiding the question of whether data are property. At the same time, property theorists disagree over whether full-blown in rem rights in data are desirable, and if so to what extent traditional possession-based notions should be altered to cover data or whether new concepts are required.
These issues are acute for the ALI’s ongoing efforts to produce a Restatement of the Law Fourth, Property (https://www.ali.org/projects/show/property/), and in certain areas such as conversion, these issues are unavoidable. Even many intermediate forms of protection, such as data trusts, require conceptual development and an assessment of their compatibility with existing legal systems.
The PowerPoint presentation of Prof. Henry E. Smith is available : here
Program of the event
5.30 pm Welcome and introduction - Prof. Jacques de Werra,
Director of the Digital Law Center, Faculty of Law of the University of Geneva
5.45 pm Is there Property in Data? Property and the Principles for a Data Economy
Prof. Henry E. Smith, Fessenden Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
6.15 pm Q & A / discussion with the participants
7.00 pm End of the event
7.15 pm Cocktail reception with alumni of Harvard Law School & Harvard University
- 8.30 pm @ Restaurant Les Philosophes sponsored by the Swiss law firm OBERSON ABELS, the Harvard Club of Switzerland and the Faculty of Law
Jacques de Werra
Directeur du Centre de Droit du Numérique
Professeur à la Faculté de droit