Accueil > Recherche

Journées d’étude 2017 sur les données personnelles

International Workshop on the Fate of Post-Mortem Personal Data (Friday the 13th of January, 2017)


Profiles compiled from scattered digital footprints left by the user on the Internet shape the outline of digital identities. While the Internet user is alive, he remains in charge of managing these identities, with the help of digital privacy law. Yet as civil rights befall the living, these data protection rights, as such, fall as his death occurs. It therefore comes as no surprise that the recently adopted General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) explicitly states it is not going to apply to data linked to dead data subjects. Therefore, there is lack of supranationally harmonised post- mortem personal data protection rules.

Profiles and digital footprints survive deceased Internet users. For example, in social networks, it is not rare to see the profile of a dead person that keeps interacting with those of living users. Such cases are to become increasingly frequent as Internet users grow old, explaining why several initiatives took place in various countries to tackle this issue.

A federal legal framework was recently adopted in the United States of America, in the form of the Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, which gives fiduciaries access to certain categories of data such as files, domain names, virtual money, while at the same time limiting access to electronic communications and social network accounts in order to protect the dead person’s privacy. In Bulgaria, the Law recognises that heirs may exercise data protection related rights on the deceased person’s data. In Hungary, the National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information has recently published a recommendation advising the Parliament to adopt legislation on the matter. In France, the recently adopted Digital Republic Act comprises a provision aiming at inscribing a new paragraph in section 40 of the Data Protection Act, stating that : “Any person can define one’s directives regarding the preservation, erasure and disclosure of one’s personal data after one’s death”.

Some social networks, like Facebook, have set up procedures to transform accounts into memorial pages. The difficulty for such operators lies not only in getting the right perception of emerging customs and social norms related to digital death in order to offer socially adequate and acceptable solutions, but also in the scattered and potentially contradictory nature of regulation on this specific issue.

The aim of the ENEID project is to study these issues. It is financed by the National Research Agency, and is composed by the MCPN team of the CIM research unit of the University Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris-III, and the EPIN team of the COSTECH research unit of the University of Technology of Compiègne, as well as some individual researchers from the University of Paris 13.

This workshop is structured around the ENEID project. Its primary goal is to discuss the various issues surrounding digital eternity, and to provide space for a dialogue between the project’s research results and that of other academics and professionnals like Data Protection Officers. It is our hope that such a discussion will help the establishment of a multidisciplinary and European community of academics and professionals studying the issue of post-mortem personal data privacy.

Provisional program

9h00 : Registration

9h30-9h45 : Opening speech

9h45 - 11h15 : Presentations by members of the ENEID research project on post-mortem digital identities (moderated by Dr. Cléo Collomb)

  • Dr. Fanny Georges : Introduction
  • Dr. Nelly Quenemer : Exhibiting privacy. The media coverage of celebrities’ death in France
  • Dr. Virginie Julliard : The production of post mortem digital identities on Facebook
  • Dr. Hélène Bourdeloie : The future of one’s on-line digital traces. On the results of a study on on-line behaviours and digital eternities

11h15 - 12h45 : The legal aspects of post-mortem privacy

  • Dr. Lucien Castex : The protection of post-mortem data : from identity to property rights
  • Edina Harbinja : Post-mortem Privacy 2.0 : (Re)conceptualising the phenomenon
  • Pr. Dr. Lilian Edwards : Against Digital Post Mortem Privacy ?

12h45-14h : Lunch break

14h-14h45 : Dr. Attila Péterfalvi : Post-Mortem Data Privacy in the Experience of the Hungarian National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information

14h45-15h15 : Sophie Nerbonne, Head of Compliance at the CNIL (time of presentation subject to possible change)

15h20-16h10 : Data Protection Officers Panel, in partnership with the French National DPO Association (AFCDP) : Pierre-David Vignolle (BRM Avocats) and Raphaël Dana (LMBE Avocats)

16h10-16h20 : Conclusions on the legal aspects of post-mortem data privacy

16h20-16h30 : Coffee break

16h30 - 18h : Concluding workshop

Practical information


The conference will be held at the Institute for Communication Sciences (ISCC) in Paris, on Friday the 13th of January, 2017.

Free registration

To register, please use this form.


Organiser of the meeting : Julien ROSSI (Costech-EPIN, UTC).
Organising committee : Cléo Collomb (Costech-EPIN, UTC), Christine Devaux (Costech-EPIN, Fanny Georges (Costech-EPIN, UTC), and Virginie Julliard (Costech-EPIN, UTC). In cooperation with the ISCC and the AFCDP.

Hélène BourdeloieDr. Hélène Bourdeloie - Paris 13 University - Sorbonne ParisCité, LabSic - Labex ICCA - COSTECH

Hélène Bourdeloie is a sociologist, working as an Associate Professor at Paris 13 University and a Research Associate at the COSTECH research unit of the University of Technology of Compiègne. She takes part in the ENEID research project. Her main areas of interest are : the uses of digital information and communication and cultural practices, social relations of gender and class, and digital death.

Dr. Lucien Castex - Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - CoGensys

Lucien Castex is a research engineer at the Communication, Information and Media (CIM) research unit of Université Sorbonne Nouvelle. He joined the ENEID research project after having spent three years at the National Audiovisual Institute (INA), where he studied the processing of mediated information, in partnership with the Technics, Territories and Societies research unit (Ecole des Ponts ParisTech, Université Paris-Est, CNRS). Lucien Castex holds degrees in Law and social sciences from the Université Panthéon-Assas, the Ecole Normale Supérieure et the Université Paris Sorbonne. His research focuses on the regulation of communication and digital social practices such as : privacy, speech policing, digital archives and open data.

Cléo CollombDr. Cléo Collomb - COSTECH Research Unit - University of Technology of Compiègne - ENEID

Cléo Collomb is currently a research associate at the ENEID Research Project. Having recently graduated from the University of Technology of Compiègne and the Université Libre de Bruxelles as a Doctor of Philosophy, her doctoral research focused on the technical and economic valuation of digital footprints used for profiling, and on ways of telling the story of computational machines in a meaningful way.

Raphaël DanaRaphaël Dana - Attorney at law, partner at LMBE Avocats, Paris

Raphaël advises his clients on all of their IP/IT requirements (software license, e-commerce, major IT projects), personal data (international data transfers, compliance audits, French Data Protection Authority filings and litigation, computer security, data theft) and business law (negotiation of commercial contracts, terms and conditions, advice to start-ups). He represents French companies as well as global corporations notably in the fields of software development, finance, aircraft manufacturing, medias, recruitment, pharmaceutical products, health.

Pr. Dr. Lilian Edwards - Strathclyde University - Centre for Creativity, Regulation, Enterprise and Technology

Lilian Edwards, who is Professor of E-Governance at Strathclyde University is a leading academic in the field of Internet law. She has taught information technology law, e-commerce law, and Internet law at undergraduate and postgraduate level since 1996 and been involved with law and artificial intelligence since 1985. Her current research interests, while broad, revolve around the topics of online privacy, intermediary liability, cybercrime, Internet pornography, digital assets and digital copyright enforcement.

Fanny GeorgesDr. Fanny Georges - Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, ENEID

Fanny Georges is associate professor at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle and honorary research fellow at the Institute for Communication Sciences of the CNRS (ISCC). Her research focuses on digital representations of identity. She the coordinator of the Digital Eternities project, funded by the National Research Agency (ANR) under the Sociétés Innovantes 2013-2017 program, and of the interdisciplinary project called Identities, Networks and Bodies of Université Sorbonne Paris Cité.

Edina HarbinjaEdina Harbinja - School of Law, University of Hertfordshire

Edina Harbinja is a senior lecturer at the School of Law, University of Hertfordshire. Her research, broadly speaking, relates to new technologies and law. In that regard, she looks at the relationships between emerging technologies and different areas of law, in particular, privacy and data protection, intellectual property, property, contract law. In addition, her research has a policy focus and aims to explore different options of regulation of online behaviours and phenomena.

More specifically, Edina is particularly interested in the notion of post-mortem privacy, yet to be developed and recognised in law, and the implications of this phenomenon to the digital realm and individuals’ online identities. For more information and the list of her publications, please see her official profile.

Virginie JulliardDr. Virginie Julliard - University of Technology of Compiègne, COSTECH Research Unit

Virginie Julliard is associate professor in information and communication sciences at the University of Technology of Compiègne. Her work focuses on digital writing systems and the production of gender. She co-organises a seminar called "Éternités numériques" with Fanny Georges, as well as another seminar on Gender, media and communication, with Nelly Quemener. She wrote De la presse à Internet : la parité en question, published by Hermès-Lavoisier, and has been one of the editors of a dossier on the emergence of gender in communication and media, with Nelly Quemener.

Attila PéterfalviDr. Attila Péterfalvi - Hungarian National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information, Károli Gáspár University, Pázmány Péter Catholic University

Dr. Attila András Péterfalvi is the President of the Hungarian National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (2012- ). He graduated at Eötvös Loránd University Faculty of Political Sicence and Law in 1981. He has been active in the field of data protection from 1996. Between 2001-2007 he was the Parliamentary Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information in Hungary.
Honorary Professor at Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church and also at Pázmány Péter Catholic University in Hungary. Got his PhD in 2014 at Zrínyi Miklós National Defence University.
Author of 50 publications (data protection and freedom of information) in Hungarian and English language.

Dr. Nelly Quenemer - Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, CIM Research Center, MCPN Team

Nelly Quemener is assistant professor in Media and Communication Studies at the University of Sorbonne Nouvelle and a member of the research center Communication, Information, Médias (EA 1484 CIM) and research team Médias, Cultures et Pratiques Numériques (MCPN). She published Le Pouvoir de l’humour. Politique des représentations dans les médias en France (Armand Colin, 2013) and Cultural Studies : théories et méthodes (with M. Cervulle, Armand Colin, 2015).

Pierre-David Vignolle - Attorney at Law, BRM Avocats, Lille

Pierre-David advises his clients on data protection and privacy. Previously, he was Head of the Department Concessions - Projects - innovations for Sanef Group. He was also, since 2011, Data Protection Officer (DPO) for all the French companies of Sanef Group. Pierre-David worked on French and foreign public technological projects in France (PPP, PFI, concessions). Pierre-David publishes regularly articles on data protection and privacy in law reviews. Pierre-David has recently published an article “Post-mortem Personal Data : the imbroglio is only beginning” in the Revue Lamy Droit de l’Immatériel.


This conference is financed and organised in the frame of the ENEID Research Project

< Retour à la rubrique Equipes

< Retour à "Equipe EPIN"

< Retour à "Journées d’étude"

Se syndiquer
CONTACT Webmestre

Christine Devaux
03 44 23 79 20