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eLaw Alumnus wins European Data Protection Law Review ‘Young Scholar Award’ at CPDP

Taner Kuru, an eLaw alumnus, was awarded the prestigious European Data Protection Law Review ‘Young Scholar Award’ for his paper on the shortcomings in the GDPR for the regulation of genetic testing at the prestigious Computers, Privacy and Data Protection Conference (CPDP).

Mr Taner Kuru

Mr Kuru presented his paper to a digital audience this year thanks to extraordinary efforts to move one of Europe’s most prestigious privacy and data protection conferences online to accommodate for restrictions put in place because of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Kuru argued that genetic data processing, like the kind used in DNA home testing kits, may cause serious privacy infringements, or lead to genetic discrimination of members of similar genetic groups. In Kuru’s article, he examines whether the European data protection framework provides any protection for genetic groups and identifies what provisions of the GDPR offer any protection. Kuru argues that there are conceptual difficulties reconciling the regime for the protection of personal data with the protection of groups of individuals that could be identified through otherwise lawful processing. 

Taner Kuru stated: “I am humbled and honoured to be recognised for my efforts as the Young Scholar Award winner by the European Data Protection Law Review. I would like to thank the eLaw department of Leiden University, and specifically my supervisor Professor Mark Leiser for his invaluable support throughout this process”. 

Leiser added: “This paper is the culmination of a significant amount of work on a topic that Mr Kuru cares passionately about. This prestigious award is recognition of work undertaken so far, but I am sure solving the problem of privacy evasive genetic technologies will be a much longer journey for Taner. It also goes to show that theses highlighting the challenges facing Law and Digital Technologies do not always go away on final submission day”. 

Mr Kuru is a recent alumnus of eLaw, completing the Advanced Masters Programme in Law and Digital Technologies in August 2020.

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