A.I.,Apps, and Fundamental Rights: A Transatlantic Dialogue

Live: May 5, 2020 - h. 17:00 pm

The seminar will be live-streamed  on You Tube at "Aula Rostagni UniPadova DFA"

Fighting the pandemic is pitting health and privacy against each other in largely unprecedented ways. A conversation between two prominent legal thinkers will compare the approaches to contact tracing apps and mass surveillance in the United States and the European Union.

We will begin the seminar by asking our guests the following questions:

Within the West, many countries and supranational legal systems are struggling to find ways to reconcile the fight against the COVID-19 with the needs of preserving fundamental rights, such as privacy, mobility, etc. A lot of debates revolve around the deployment of AI-based technologies, which track down people and contagion, as they would make extreme physical constraints, such as lockdowns, unnecessary. What are the main legal issues within the EU and the U.S. that such possibilities need to face?

As we expect that the virus will stay with us for long, we are likely to need digital tools for long as well. Once the Schengen treaty returns in full force and EU citizens resort to moving quite freely within EU territories, the apps we are thinking of will ensure inter-state tracing? Is the US facing with analogous issues of decentralization?

It is rather frequent to hear the opinion that we are overestimating the issues of privacy, given the importance of health. Moreover, it is common parlance that the big tech companies already know so much about us, that is paradoxical to fear the Government and massive utilization of data to fight the virus. Are privacy issues almost fictional, in light of the tech giants’ omnipotence?

You can send questions for the speakers via email at “”. We will collect them until May 1, 2020.

conference speaker

Woodrow Hartzog

Professor of Law, Northeastern University, Boston

 Oreste Pollicino

Professor of Law, Bocconi University, Milano