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Valerie Verdoodt

Valerie Verdoodt
Research fellow
Centre for IT & IP Law

Valerie Verdoodt (°1989) obtained her Master of Laws (cum laude) in 2012 from the University of Leuven. In 2010 she was an Erasmus exchange student at Queen Mary University of London, focusing on competition law. In 2013 she completed the Advanced Master in Intellectual Property Rights & ICT at the University of Leuven (Campus Brussels). Prior to joining CiTiP in March 2014, Valerie completed a traineeship at the Data Protection Unit of the European Commission's DG Justice, working on the General Data Protection Regulation and the development of a code of conduct for cloud computing service providers. In 2016 she completed the Florence School of Regulation's Annual Training on Communications and Media Regulation at the European University Institute. 

At CiTiP, Valerie's research focuses on the topics of social media (literacy), privacy, data protection, user empowerment and the protection of minors. Since 2014, she has been involved in several European and Belgian research projects (i.e. EMSOC, SPION, ACDC, PREEMPTIVE). She was also involved in CiTiP's 'Facebook investigation' for which she co-authored a report analysing Facebook’s revised policies and terms at the request of the Belgian Privacy Commission. In 2016, she was part of an international consortium of children's rights experts who prepared a background document for the Council of Europe for guidance on empowering, protecting and supporting children's rights in the digital age. Valerie regularly publishes and presents about her research interests. At the 2016 BILETA conference, she won the best researcher paper award with her colleague Damian Clifford. Valerie is also assistant editor for the International Encyclopaedia of Laws – Media Law (edited by Prof. Peggy Valcke and Prof. Eva Lievens), editor of the CiTiP Blog, and active contributor to the Belgian actualia section of the Dutch journal 'Privacy en Informatie'. Since 2016, Valerie has been an independent expert member and Vice-chair of the Strategic Advisory Committee for Media ("SARC Sectorraad Media"), advising the Flemish Minister for Media on the latest policy issues and legislative initiatives in the field of media. Together with Véronica Donoso (INHOPE), she was also invited to act as independent reviewer of the EU Pledge monitoring (in 2015 & 2016), a self-regulatory initiative to foster responsible advertising of food and beverage towards young children in the EU. In 2017, she also acted as a legal expert for the World Health Organisation during a number of meetings and workshops on children’s exposure to digital advertising. 

From 2015-2018, Valerie was the lead researcher working on the AdLit Project, which studied minors' advertising literacy in a new media environment, funded by IWT (Belgian agency for innovation by science and technology). In the frame of this project, she wrote her PhD thesis entitled "Children’s rights and advertising literacy in the digital era: Towards an empowering regulatory framework for commercial communication", which focused on the role of children's rights in regulating new advertising techniques. She defended her PhD in December 2018. 

In November 2018, Valerie was a visiting researcher at eLaw, the Center for Law and Digital Technologies at Leiden University. 

At present, Valerie is a postdoctoral researcher at CiTiP, working on the SPECTRE project, which studies the privacy implications brought by the development of smart cities. She also teaches Electronic Contracts Law in the programme on IP and ICT Law at KU Leuven, Campus Brussels.

Find her on twitter: @ValeVerdo

 

Publications

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  • journal-article
    Verdoodt, Valerie; 2019. The Role of Children’s Rights in Regulating Digital Advertising. International Journal of Children's Rights; 2019; Vol. 27; iss. 3; pp. 455 - 481
    LIRIAS2821678
    description
    An important domain in which children’s rights are reconfigured by internet use, is digital advertising. New advertising formats such as advergames, personalised and integrated advertising have permeated the online environments in which children play, communicate and search for information. The often immersive, interactive and increasingly personalised nature of these advertising formats makes it difficult for children to recognise and make informed and well-balanced commercial decisions. This raises particular issues from a children’s rights perspective, including, inter alia, their rights to development (Article 6, uncrc), privacy (Article 16, uncrc), protection against economic exploitation (Article 32, uncrc), freedom of thought (Article 17, uncrc) and education (Article 28, uncrc). The paper addresses this reconfiguration by translating the general principles and the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child into the specific context of digital advertising. Moreover, it considers the different dimensions of the rights (i.e. protection, participation and provision) and how the commercialisation affects children and how their rights are exercised.
    Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers
    Accepted
  • journal-article
    Verdoodt, Valerie; 2019. Kinderrechten en reclamewijsheid in het digitale tijdperk - Richting een empowerend regelgevend kader voor commerciële communicatie. Consumentenrecht / Droit de la Consommation; 2019; iss. 3; pp. 3 - 13
    LIRIAS2821314
    description

    Publisher: Larcier
    Published
  • Valcke, Peggy; Feci, Nadia; Verdoodt, Valerie; 2019. Nieuwe Europese regels voor audiovisuele mediadiensten en videoplatforms: overzicht en vooruitblik op de omzetting in België. Recht in beweging - 26° VRG-Alumnidag 2019; 2019; pp. 257 - 291 Publisher: Gompel & Svacina; Oud-Turnhout/'s-Hertogenbosch
    LIRIAS2798418
    description


    Published
  • presentation
    Verdoodt, Valerie; 2019. Connected toys and AI babysitters: A multidimensional children's rights approach.
    LIRIAS2376656
    description


    Published
  • Van der Hof, Simone; Leiser, Mark; Verdoodt, Valerie; 2019. Child labour and online protection in a world of influencers.
    LIRIAS2357606
    description


    Published
  • journal-article
    Verdoodt, Valerie; 2018. Aanbevelingen voor online influencer-marketing van de Raad voor Reclame. Consumentenrecht / Droit de la Consommation; 2018; iss. 3-4 / 120-121; pp. 241 - 243
    LIRIAS2379061
    description

    Publisher: Larcier
    Published
  • Verdoodt, V; 2018. Children’s rights and advertising literacy in the digital era: towards an empowering regulatory framework for commercial communication.
    LIRIAS2278522
    description
    On a daily basis, children are exposed to a broad variety of new digital advertising techniques. These new forms of commercial communication have specific features (i.e. immersive, interactive, personalised) that make them particularly appealing to children, but also raise concerns as children often do not recognise or understand the persuasive intent of these new forms. Accordingly, these new forms raise significant legal and ethical questions from a children's rights perspective (e.g. their right to development, privacy and data protection, participation). However, currently a wide array of provisions regulates commercial communication aimed at children, across various channels. The research starts from the observation that the regulatory framework is fragmented into both legislative and alternative regulatory instruments (i.e. self- and co-regulation) and takes as its working hypothesis that this potentially may lead to gaps or overlaps such as inter alia a lack of clear and uniform definitions and even contradicting rules, which in turn may have a negative impact on children's development and advertising literacy. Therefore, the project questions what substantive and procedural elements a regulatory framework on commercial communication needs for children to be educated and empowered to cope with commercial communication (i.e. ad literate), so that they can grow up to be critical, informed consumers who make their own conscious choices in today's new media environment.

    Published
  • presentation
    Verdoodt, Valerie; 2018. Children's Rights and Advertising Literacy in the Digital Era.
    LIRIAS2337549
    description


    Published
  • Verdoodt, Valerie; Feci, Nadia; 2018. Digital influencers and vlogging advertising: Calling for awareness, guidance and enforcement. Auteurs en Media; 2018
    LIRIAS2339326
    description

    Publisher: Larcier
    Accepted
  • Verdoodt, Valerie; 2018. Data protection, privacy and digital rights in a school context.
    LIRIAS2321272
    description


    Published
  • presentation
    Zarouali, Brahim; Verdoodt, Valerie; Walrave, Michel; Poels, Karoline; Ponnet, Koen; Lievens, Eva; 2018. Adolescents’ persuasion skills and privacy protection strategies in the context of targeted advertising on social networking sites: Implications for regulation.
    LIRIAS2348029
    description


    Published
  • Verdoodt, Valerie; Feci, Nadia; Wauman, Jeroen; Lambrecht, Ingrid; 2018. Recommendations for a future-proof regulatory framework for commercial communication aimed at children.
    LIRIAS1990897
    description
    The AdLit Project investigated ways to empower children and youth to cope with advertising in today’s new media environment, so that they can grow up to be critical, informed consumers making their own conscious choices. It aimed to give an overview of the current level of advertising literacy in children and teenagers, as well as to map methods to increase their level of advertising literacy for new forms of advertising. Many different stakeholders and researchers from a variety of fields were involved in the AdLit project. The stakeholders ranged from policy makers, educational partners and social actors to members of the advertising- and media industry. The interdisciplinary team of researchers was composed of members from the universities of Ghent, Antwerp, Brussels and Leuven, with expertise in psychology, marketing, pedagogy, communication science and law. The coordination of the project was led by the CEPEC research group of Ghent University. The legal research conducted within the frame of the project consisted of a mapping and evaluation of the current regulatory framework (including legislation and alternative regulatory instruments) on commercial communication aimed at children. This whitepaper summarises key gaps in existing regulation and formulates concrete recommendations for a future-proof regulatory framework on commercial communication aimed at children. While it is primarily aimed at regulators and policymakers, it may also provide insights for other parties who are looking to expand their understanding of advertising regulation as well as for the broader debate on the use of alternative regulatory instruments for the protection and empowerment of children in the digital environment. For more specific information about the AdLit valorisation goals and our recommendations for children, parents, researchers and educational staff, visit www.reclamewijs.be.

    Published
  • journal-article
    Lambrecht, Ingrid; Verdoodt, Valerie; Bellon, Jasper; 2018. Platforms and commercial communications aimed at children: a playground under legislative reform?. International Review of Law, Computers & Technology; 2018; Vol. 32; iss. 1; pp. 58 - 79
    LIRIAS1643218
    description
    © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Today’s online media services landscape is characterised by an increased convergence between traditional media and the delivery of over the internet content (audiovisual or otherwise). This convergence raises important new questions regarding the scope of the existing regulatory framework on commercial communications. Due to the complexity of the framework–which includes media law, consumer protection law, e-commerce law and data protection law–it is becoming ever more difficult to delineate the responsibilities of certain service providers (e.g. video-sharing platforms) for the commercial communications that appear on their platforms, not excluding their potential qualification as ‘controller’ or ‘processor’ under the EU data protection framework. It is therefore time to consider the potential impact of the ongoing legislative reforms for both traditional and new players on the media playground, to better understand their shared impact and responsibility. As such, this paper will analyse the different responsibilities these new internet platforms will face in the context of commercial communication aimed at a young audience. For this purpose, it will analyse the interplay between the different legislative instruments mentioned above to discover any gaps or clarify any overlaps, which could ultimately have a negative impact on the empowerment of children.
    Publisher: Taylor & Francis
    Accepted
  • presentation
    Verdoodt, Valerie; Lievens, Eva; Van der Hof, Simone; Jouret, Joëlle; Geary, Patrick; Sorensen, Max; 2018. Growing up with advertising in a digital media environment: Data protection safeguards in disguise.
    LIRIAS1711985
    description


    Published
  • Lievens, Eva; Livingstone, Sonia; McLaughlin, Sharon; O'Neill, Brian; Verdoodt, Valerie; 2018. Children’s rights and digital technologies. International Children’s Rights Law.; 2018; pp. 487 - 513 Publisher: Springer; Berlin
    LIRIAS1711928
    description
    Digital technologies have reshaped children’s lives, resulting in new opportunities for and risks to their well-being and rights. This chapter investigates the impact of digital technologies on children’s rights through the lens of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Up until now, not all rights have received the same level of attention in the digital context. Legal and policy discourse in the area of children and digital media predominantly focuses on ‘protection’ rights, albeit with a growing awareness of the tension between ‘protection’ and ‘participation’ rights. ‘Provision’ rights are not often emphasised, other than in the important domain of education. However, all children’s rights should be supported, valued and developed in both online and offline spheres of engagement. Governments, parents, educators, industry, civil society and children’s rights commissioners or ombudspersons should all take up their responsibility to enhance children’s rights in relation to digital technologies, while actively listening and taking account of children’s views when developing laws, policies, programmes and other measures in this field.

    Published
  • Tatlow-Golden, Mimi; Verdoodt, Valerie; Oates, John; Jewell, Jo; Breda, Joao J; 2017. A safe glimpse within the “black box”? Ethical and legal principles when assessing digital marketing of food and drink to children. Public Health Panorama; 2017; Vol. 3; iss. 4; pp. 613 - 621
    LIRIAS1711840
    description

    Publisher: World Health Organization - Regional Office for Europe
    Published
  • journal-article
    Verdoodt, Valerie; 2017. Verschuivingen in het Vlaamse medialandschap voor een aandeel van de digitale reclamemarkt. Privacy en Informatie; 2017; iss. 6; pp. 288 - 288
    LIRIAS1711835
    description


    Published
  • journal-article
    Lievens, Eva; Verdoodt, Valerie; 2017. Looking for needles in a haystack: Key issues affecting children's rights in the General Data Protection Regulation. Computer Law & Security Review; 2017; Vol. 34; iss. 2; pp. 269 - 278
    LIRIAS1553895
    description
    The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) devotes particular attention to the protection of personal data of children. The rationale is that children are less aware of the risks and the potential consequences of the processing of their personal data on their rights. Yet, the text of the GDPR offers little clarity as to the actual implementation and impact of a number of provisions that may significantly affect children and their rights, leading to legal uncertainty for data controllers, parents and children. This uncertainty relates for instance to the age of consent for processing children's data in relation to information society services, the technical requirements regarding parental consent in that regard, the interpretation of the extent to which profiling of children is allowed and the level of transparency that is required vis-à-vis children. This article aims to identify a number of key issues and questions – both theoretical and practical – that raise concerns from a multi-dimensional children's rights perspective, and to clarify remaining ambiguities in the run-up to the actual application of the GDPR from 25 May 2018 onwards.
    Publisher: Elsevier
    Accepted
  • Verdoodt, Valerie; 2017. The Role of Children's Rights in Regulating New Forms of Commercial Communication.
    LIRIAS1711935
    description


    Published
  • media
    Verdoodt, Valerie; Feci, Nadia; 2017. Children and targeted advertising in the proposed ePrivacy (Regulation) colouring book: Time to use the whole box of crayons!. Publisher: https://www.law.kuleuven.be/citip/blog/
    LIRIAS1708889
    description


    Published