Professor Gloria González Fuster

Professor of Law
Vrije Universiteit Brussel

The Data Makers: Who are They, and How to Understand Them?

Much of the data feeding AI systems are what the law describes as ‘personal data’, because they relate to somebody who could be identified. These persons are, in turn, called by the law the ‘data subjects’, while those deciding about the processing are the ‘data controllers’. In this talk I will propose re-qualifying as ‘data makers’ all those participating into the making of these data and the processing thereof, thus highlighting their different roles in the creation and re-cognition of data as data. From there, I will move to the question of how these data makers are typically conceptualized and explained, and identify some of the major gaps in our understanding.


Gloria is a Research Professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)’s Faculty of Law and Criminology and Co-Director of the Law, Science, Technology and Society (LSTS) Research Group, and a member of the Brussels Privacy Hub (BPH).

She investigates legal issues related to privacy, personal data protection and security, and 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). González Fuster is a member of the European Commission’s Multistakeholder Expert Group to support the application of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

You can read a short interview with Gloria as well as listen to our podcast interview with her.