Conference: Transparency in the Digital Environment [2021 C4eJ 31]

Transparency has become an astonishingly popular ideal over the last couple of decades. Its traditional habitats, public law and political theory, have lost their monopoly to define it. It has globalized and spilled over to new disciplinary discourses – quite prominently, in algorithms and automation – thus becoming a well-nigh self-justificatory virtue, “the cultural signifier of neutrality.” Transparency promises that we can witness, immediately, what happens in the chambers of power, and by virtue of this witnessing, fix what needs to be fixed.

Can we, really?

This online conference took place on May 7, 2021, and featured contributors to a special issue, guest edited by Ida Koivisto (Law, Helsinki), in the open-access online journal Critical Analysis of Law: An International & Interdisciplinary Law Review. Access the special issue here.

Transparency in the Digital Environment

Panel 1: Digital Transparency Between Truth and Power

  • Monika Zalnieriute, (UNSW, Law; in absentia), “Transparency-Washing” in the Digital Age: A Corporate Agenda of Procedural (summary by Ida Koivisto)
  • Riikka Koulu (University of Helsinki, Law), Crafting Digital Transparency: Implementing Legal Values into Algorithmic Design
  • Ida Koivisto (University of Helsinki, Law), The Digital Rear Window: Epistemologies of Digital Transparency
  • Oana B. Albu & Hans Krause Hansen (Copenhagen Business School), Three Sides of the Same Coin: Datafied Transparency, Biometric Surveillance, and Algorithmic Governmentalities

Panel 2: The Promise and Perils of Digital Transparency

  • Mateusz Grochowski (Polish Academy of Sciences, Law Studies), Agnieszka Jabłonowska (University of Lodz, Law), Francesca Lagioia (University of Bologna, AI & Law), & Giovanni Sartor (University of Bologna, Legal Informatics), Algorithmic Transparency and Explainability for EU Consumer Protection: Unwrapping the Regulatory Premises
  • Stefan Larsson (LTH, Lund University, Technology and Social Change), Anders Jensen-Urstad (, & Fredrik Heintz (Linköping University, Computer Science), Notified But Unaware: Third-Party Tracking Online
  • Mark Fenster (University of Florida, Levin College of Law), A “Public” Journey Through COVID-19: Donald Trump, Twitter, and the Secrecy of U.S. Presidents’ Health
  • Katja de Vries (Uppsala University, Law), Transparent Dreams (Are Made of This): Counterfactuals as Transparency Tools in ADM