Cambridge Conversations: privacy at a time of peril – is privacy itself in peril?

Cambridge Conversations: privacy at a time of peril – is privacy itself in peril?

Cambridge Conversations: privacy at a time of peril – is privacy itself in peril?

event Thursday, September 17, 2020 schedule 6.30pm - 7.20pm BST
Booking closed
Booking closed
event Thursday, September 17, 2020 schedule 6.30pm - 7.20pm BST
Cambridge Conversations
Cambridge Conversations
Open to: 
Alumni and guests
Friends and supporters
Postgraduate students
University members
Science and technology, Social sciences

We value our privacy – or do we? Believing that we have a right to privacy – a right enshrined in law – we nevertheless give up our personal information with alacrity. Our data enables us to be tracked, to be targeted and to be manipulated. It can be used as a weapon in the war against a virulent virus, a tool for advertisers, or as leverage for those who seek power. Vice-Chancellor and international lawyer, Professor Stephen J Toope, will be joined by leading Cambridge experts Dr David Erdos and Dr Kirsty Hughes of the Faculty of Law for a frank Cambridge Conversation. Together, they will discuss the nature and importance of privacy and personal data protection, and the challenges facing these fundamental legal concepts at a time of great political and social turbulence.

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Cambridge Conversations: privacy at a time of peril — is privacy itself in peril?


Professor Stephen J Toope (Trinity 1983)

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stephen J Toope

Professor Stephen J Toope OC, LL.D. is 346th Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, the first non-UK national to hold the post. He was Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, and President, the University of British Columbia. A former Dean of Law, McGill University, Toope was also Chair of the United Nations Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances.

Professor Toope publishes in global journals on human rights, international dispute resolution, international environmental law, the use of force, and international legal theory, and has lectured at universities around the world.

His current book project with Professor Jutta Brunnée explores mechanisms and processes fostering stability and change in international law.

Dr David Erdos

David Erdos

Dr David Erdos is University Senior Lecturer in Law and the Open Society and Deputy Director of the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law (CIPIL) in the Faculty of Law as well as being WYNG Fellow in Law at Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge. Before joining Cambridge in October 2013, David spent six years as a research fellow at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Faculty of Law and Balliol College, University of Oxford. His core research explores data protection, especially as this intersects with freedom of expression in both new and traditional media. He also has scholarly interests in constitutional law, human rights and internet governance.

David is the author of two Oxford University Press monographs, Delegating Rights Protection (2010) and European Data Protection Regulation, Journalism and Traditional Publishers (2020). He has also published over twenty articles in leading legal and social science journals including the Cambridge Law Journal, Common Market Law Review, Journal of Law and Society and Political Research Quarterly. His research has received funding from a range of sources including the British Academy, Economic and Social Research Council and the Leverhulme Trust.

Dr Kirsty Hughes (Sidney Sussex 2006)

Kirsty Hughes

Dr Kirsty Hughes is a University Senior Lecturer specialising in Human Rights and Public Law. 

Dr Hughes has been researching the right to privacy for over a decade. This prize-winning research has been published in leading journals and books. She has also given both oral and written submissions to various parliamentary committees, and has contributed to national and international media coverage on legal issues. 

She has recently published work on the right to privacy in English law and the role of common law constitutional rights; whilst her forthcoming book provides a theoretically informed analysis of the right to privacy contained in Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.  

She has been the recipient of numerous research fellowships including visiting research fellowships at the University of New South Wales and EUI (Florence). 

Dr Hughes is a member of the Privacy Law Scholars Conference Committee and she has co-directed two International Privacy Law Conferences in conjunction with Washington University. She has also participated in two Australian Law Reform Commission reviews of privacy law.

She is a member of Blackstone Chambers Academic Panel and the Editorial Board of Public Law.

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