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RESEARCHERS UNIVERSITY OF ANTWERP

Michel Walrave
(Coordinator)

 

 

Michel Walrave (Ph.D.) is a professor at the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Antwerp and head of the research group MIOS.

 

Prof. Walrave's research focuses on online self-disclosure and privacy. Michel investigates individuals’ motives of online self-disclosure, but also related opportunities (e.g., in terms of social capital) and risks (e.g., misuse of personal data in cyberbullying, cyber dating abuse, and also NCII (non-consensual distribution of intimate images)).

 

Moreover, how intimate disclosures, e.g.sexting, and their consequences can be understood, is one of the topics of his research. Besides, Michel investigates the reasons why internet users entrust personal data to organisations and how individuals deal with new forms of interactive persuasive communication

Catherine Van De Heyning
(Promotor)

 

 

Prof. Van De Heyning's research focuses on the impact of digitalisation on multilevel human rights protection, in particular in the area of criminal justice. Catherine previously published extensively in NCII & hate speech, data retention, and digital investigation techniques. In 2020, Catherine co-authored the annual report of the Belgian - Netherlands association on criminal law on the topic of cybercrime and cyberwarfare. 

 

In addition to her academic credentials, Catherine is a public prosecutor in Antwerp (Mechelen division) and an expert at the Advisory Committee of the United Nations Human Rights Council. 

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Mona Giacometti
(Postdoctoral researcher)

The subject of Mona's doctoral project (Ph.D. in Law) was the collection of electronic evidence in the context of the European Union. A significant part of her research was dedicated to the cooperation between law enforcement authorities and service providers. Mona's research included an analysis of the provisions of American Law with which many service providers have to comply when they are asked to disclose data by European law enforcement authorities. The purpose of her dissertation was to build an effective model that also respects the State’s sovereignty. To achieve this goal, she used private international law concepts, such as jurisdictional criteria, in such a manner as to regulate the action of the law enforcement authorities in the digital world.

 

Mona also currently lectures courses regarding special criminal law at UCLouvain. Besides, Mona is also active as a lawyer at Iuxta Legal in which Mona focuses on all aspects of criminal law, including criminal behaviors in the digital environment.

 

Mona is part of the research team of the @ntidote project as a post-doc. In this regard, Mona will be in charge of the supervision of the qualitative research designed to investigate which types of behaviour are considered as harmful online content amongst digital natives. Mona will also be involved in the legal aspects of the research to determine the current legal framework, to develop new legal solutions to sanction online hate speech and NCII appropriately. Additionally, Mona will also address the role of Internet Service Providers from a legal point of view. 

Aurélie Gilen
(Ph.D. Researcher)

As a psychiatric nurse, Aurélie chose to broaden her horizons and graduated as an MSc in Human Sexualities (KU Leuven). Aurélie's previous research focused on communicative behaviors and emotions during sexual conflicts in couples.

 

This knowledge allows Aurélie to better map the coping mechanisms and emotions that underlie cyber violence. The non-consensual sharing of intimate footage is one of the main focuses of the @ntidote project. Aurélie's education and therapeutic experience permit her to approach this sensitive subject from a more sexological and psychological perspective. Research evinced that sexual orientation, LGBTQ+, and gender affect the severity of the cyber violence consequences. As a sexologist, Aurélie will ensure that these target groups will come more to the fore. Aurélie's devotion to this theme is reinforced by the dual nature of the project. The identification of the psychological engine of cyber violence will inform legal authorities with the aim to effectively adapt their approach. In this way, Aurélie hopes to give a voice to victims of cyber violence and to eventually reach health care as well.  

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