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Privacy Through the Lenses of Race and Gender - Lecture by Anita Allen

Monday, 8 March, 2021 - 20:00
Kaaitheater, deBuren, VUB Crosstalks and VUB RHEA
Evening Lecture

There is increasing interest in understanding the differences race and gender make for the enjoyment of privacy and data protection rights. In this lecture, Anita L. Allen will discuss privacy through the lenses of race and gender. Although privacy should be considered a foundational good, the story of privacy for groups on the margins has been a lack of privacy protection, or too much of the wrong  kinds of privacy. Nations should be committed to protecting privacy for all people, whether they eagerly embrace privacy or not. But we need to ask: Who gets watched and who gets to be observed? Who gets profiled and who is ignored? Who gets to be invisible or is forced into invisibility? Are we all equal in front of privacy, and does the State care equally for everybody’s privacy?


20:00: Welcome and introduction by Gily Coene (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
20:10: Anita L. Allen (University of Pensylvania): ‘Privacy Through the Lenses of Race and Gender’

20:40: Q&A with Gloria González Fuster (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) and Sabrine Ingabire (journalist)
21:00-21:30: Questions from the audience


Anita L. Allen, JD, PhD.,  is an internationally recognized specialist on privacy law and ethics. She is the Henry R. Silverman Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania. From 2010-17 she served on President Obama’s Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. In 2018-19, she served as President of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association and was the first Black woman to hold the role. She currently chairs the board of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, based in Washington DC. Allen has published several books including Unpopular Privacy: What Must We Hide (2011), The New Ethics: A Guided Tour of the 21st Century Moral Landscape (2004),  Why Privacy Isn't Everything: Feminist Reflections on Personal Accountability (2003) and Uneasy Access: Privacy for Women in a Free Society (1988). She is an elected  member of the American Law Institute, The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Medicine. In 2019 Allen was awarded an honorary doctoral degree for contributions to privacy law and technology policy studies by Tilburg University in the Netherlands.

Anita Allen

Gily Coene (PhD in Moral Sciences, Ghent University 2004) is professor at the Ethics and Philosophy department and the department of Political Sciences of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). She is also director of the VUB-Research Centre on Gender and Diversity and member of the research Centre on Ethics and Humanism. Before joining the VUB, she was working as a Marie Curie post-doctoral Fellow at the Centre for Research on Ethnic Relations at the University of Warwick. Trained as a moral philosopher she combines a broad expertise in feminist philosophy, (bio-)ethics and political theory. Her current research interests concern gender-based violence, sexual and reproductive rights and democracy and diversity. She is a founding member of an interuniversity master in gender and diversity teaches courses in moral philosophy and empirical ethics, feminist thought, gender studies, philosophy of sexuality and humanist studies.

Gloria González Fuster is a Research Professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)’s Faculty of Law and Criminology. Co-Director of the Law, Science, Technology and Society (LSTS) Research Group, and member of the Brussels Privacy Hub (BPH), she investigates legal issues related to privacy, personal data protection and security, teaches ‘Privacy and Data Protection Law‘, and coordinates the course ‘Bruxelles: La ville et le droit’. She also teaches ‘Data Policies in the European Union’ at the Data Law option of the Master of Laws in International and European Law (PILC) of VUB’s Institute for European Studies (IES), and lectures on EU fundamental rights for PILC’s ‘International and European Protection of Human Rights’ course. Additionally, she lectures on data protection law at the LL.M. in European and Transnational Law of Intellectual Property and Information Technology of Georg-August-Universität Göttingen.

Gloria Gonzalez Fuster

Sabrine Ingabire (1995, Rwanda) grew up between Brussels and Flanders and lives in Amsterdam. She is a national news editor at NRC and an intersectional feminist writer. In 2016 her first novel Le chemin vers le bonheur (Editions Chloé des Lys) was published. She contributed to the anthologies Black (2018, Atlas Contact), Le Ravage d'Ali Baba (2019), De verovering van Jupiter. Over de dekolonisatie van de geest (2020, Jurgen Maas Publishers) and Being (Imposed Upon) (2020, Onomatopee Projects). She was also co-curator of Being (Imposed Upon).

Sabrine Ingabire


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This evening is a collaboration between Kaaitheater, deBuren, VUB Crosstalks and VUB RHEA  (Research Centre Gender, Diversity and Intersectionality). The lecture is part of the Machteld De Metsenaere lecture series, organized in the frame of International Women's Day.