Konrad Kollnig is assistant professor at the Law and Tech Lab of Maastricht University. Previously, he was a doctoral researcher at the Department of Computer Science of the University of Oxford and an associate researcher at the Open Data Institute. He holds a BSc in Computer Science and Mathematics from RWTH Aachen University (Distinction) and an MSc in Computer Science from the University of Oxford (Distinction).
In his work, Konrad strives to create a more equitable digital economy and make technology laws, like the GDPR and AI Act, work in practice. He is motivated by the fact that it is highly challenging to scale and enforce technology laws across millions of apps and websites. Thus, new approaches are needed to ensure online safety, which his work tries to address. As part of this, he’s been empirically measuring the effect of data protection and privacy laws on the actual data practices of smartphone apps. The aim of this is to characterise data and platform power in the app economy and to build regulatory technologies that help law scale across millions of websites and apps. He’s also been trying to build new, autonomy–enhancing technologies and translate legal requirements into technical practice.
His work has been published in leading academic venues, like PETS, FAccT, SOUPS, and the Internet Policy Review. His research has been covered by Forbes, Wired, Vox, Der Standard, New Scientist, La Stampa, Le Temps, TechCrunch, and other international media. He’s been selected for the award of the Future of Privacy Forum for the Best Student Privacy Paper for Policymakers 2022, and for the Best Paper Award of ConPro’23, a workshop on tech and consumer protection that is co-organised by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC). He has also been selected as a member of the expert advisory bodies of the EU’s European Data Protection Board and the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), two leading European data protection and privacy authorities. He has previously been interviewed by the German and UK competition authorities on concentration in digital markets. Konrad led the winning team in the United Nations Privacy Competition 2022, ahead of 195 other teams worldwide.
Konrad is the creator of TrackerControl, which is an Android privacy app with 100,000+ downloads. The app exposes hidden data flows from apps to companies. It is available in 21 languages thanks to the help of the TrackerControl community. Konrad also helped found a LegalTech startup that is funded by the Alchemist Accelerator (2–3% acceptance rate). You can find more of Konrad’s projects under ‘Projects’.
More generally, Konrad is interested in how we can live in more peace with technology. This is what this blog has been exploring for a couple of years now. Contact details (including Twitter and Email) are in the icons below. If you ever need to, feel free to copy and change as much text of this research profile as you want.