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Personal information

Dr M.R. Leiser is a regulatory theorist, specialising in Digital, Legal, and Platform Regulation at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Department of Transnational Legal Studies, Amsterdam Law & Technology Institute). In his research and lecturing, he focuses on law and digital technologies, such as fundamental rights, e-commerce, regulatory theory, and platform regulation. contracting, security, privacy, freedom of speech, cybercrime; and phenomena related to deceptive design, dark patterns, consumer protection, and the use and regulation of AI and digital technologies.

Alongside the running of the website, he has published 30 pieces of academic work, and a number of book chapters on Artificial Intelligence, company law, deceptive design, and data protection matters. His book on disinformation and online manipulation is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press. He is a sought-after public speaker and has presented his findings to the UN, the EU Parliament, the Council of Europe, and various regulators. 

Interested in supervising select research theses (Masters and PhD) in my areas of expertise and in artificial intelligence, consumer & data protection, platform regulation, and the law of deceptive design (UI & UX and system architecture).


Dr M. R. Leiser (Mark is an interdisciplinary researcher and regulatory theorist who focuses on digital legal and platform regulation. He serves as a Board Member of the Amsterdam Law and Technology Institute. His research encompasses a wide range of topics, including data analytics, privacy, e-commerce, and the regulation of online deceptive practices. He is keenly interested in exploring the effectiveness of traditional models of nodal and decentred regulation in cyber-governance, particularly in the context of online deceptive practices and the rationality of actors in a networked environment.

Selected publications:


  • “Fake News Online Manipulation and Digital Propaganda: Law and Regulation in Europe” (Cambridge University Press, Manuscript near completion).

Edited Works:

Selected Book Chapters:

  • Contributions to "Artificial Intelligence and the Media," "EU Data Protection Handbook," "Oxford Handbook on the Law Enforcement Directive," "Boyle and Birds Company Law 10th and 9th Editions", "The Regulation of Social Media Influencers," "Cambridge Handbook on the Freedom of Thought," "The Oxford Handbook of Law, Regulation, and Technology

Selected Academic Journal Papers:

He has also contributed significantly to various journals, including the Journal of European Consumer and Market Law, the European Data Protection Law Review, and the International Data Privacy Law Journal.

Research Grants Awarded

    • Analyze the interaction and potential conflict between the online information architecture and people's cognitive abilities and to provide cognitively and technologically sound solutions to redress the critical impact of the current information architecture on the public good.
    • Leader of Work Package 4
    • Funded as part of the initiative "AI+Society of the future" from the Volkswagen Foundation
    • The project is led by the NOVA University of Lisbon (NOVA FCSH) in cooperation with the Faculty of Computer Science and Communication of the University of Economics in Katowice, the Faculty of Sociology of the Sorbonne Nouvelle University - Paris 3, the Faculty of Communication Sciences of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, the Faculty of Education Sciences of the University of Lapland, the Faculty of Law of Leiden, the Faculty of Communication Sciences of the University of Lorraine, and the Portuguese Press Publisher's Association and builds an entire Masters level curriculum from the ground up. Media and media education professionals acquire new skills to understand the multidisciplinary nature of the disinformation (fake news) issue and how it affects their current or future professional activity in news media companies, in media departments of public or private organizations, or in educational environments. The project plans to design and develop a joint European cross-disciplinary post-graduate training curriculum on disinformation and fact-checking accessible via the Web. Participants acquire real expertise in fact-checking and disinformation through the mastery of the theoretical concepts and digital tools used in this field to enable them to exercise the newly emerging profession of fact-checker. To this end, the project plans to create a set of higher education eLearning modules covering the main disciplines involved in designing and implementing a fact-checking strategy based on quality news production and distribution.


Selected Conference Appearances

  • CPDP, (Brussels, 2024) An Analysis of the CSAM Regulation and its compliance with EU Law. 
  • BILETA (Dublin, 2024) Psychological Patterns and Article 5 of the AI Act
  • Nobel Prize Committee (Washington DC, 2023), Deceptive Design
  • Human Rights Research Network (Ghent, 2023): Protecting the Right to Freedom of Thought in the Fight Against Online Manipulation
  • Human Rights Research Network (Ghent, 2023): The EU Proposal on the Regulation and Prevention of the Dissemination of CSAM: An Exercise in Competing & Complementary Rights
  • European Parliament (2023) 3rd Annual Digital Consumer Event  Panel: "Addictive Design"
  • ALLAI (Amsterdam, 2023): Keynote Speech on "Psychological Patterns"
  • BILETA 2023, Amsterdam: Presented on "Dark Patterns Enforcement and the Emerging Digital Design Acquis: Manipulation Beneath the Interface," contributing to the discourse on deceptive online practices.
  • BILETA 2023, Amsterdam: Discussed "Article 9 and Freedom of Thought in the Age of Digital Manipulation," highlighting the intersection of digital technology and fundamental human rights.
  • 37th meeting of the Committee of the Parties (Lanzarote Committee) to the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (01/02/2023), Strasbourg, France
  • Conference in Haifa, Israel (December 2019): Co-authored a paper on "Harmful Online Activity and Private Law," addressing legal implications of online behaviours.
  • TILTing Perspectives - Regulating A World in Transition, April 2019: Examined "Trade Secrets Models & Personal Data: Resolving the Conflict?" with F. Dechesne, offering insights into complex data protection issues.
  • Cambridge International Law Conference, March 2019: Delivered a plenary lecture on "A Principle-Based Approach to Regulating Propaganda," contributing to the understanding of modern information warfare.
  • DP Symposium, Yeditepe University, Istanbul, Turkey (December 2018): Spoke on "The Law Enforcement Directive: The Other Means for Processing Personal Data," delving into data processing laws in the EU.
  • Yeditepe IT Law Summer School, Istanbul, Turkey (August 2019): Tackled "The Attack on Fake News and Regulating the Digital Environment in the 21st Century," addressing critical issues in digital misinformation.
  • Public Lecture at the University of Malta (February 2019): Focused on "Regulating Fake News," providing crucial insights into digital media and misinformation.
  • BILETA Annual Conference, April 2019, Belfast: Discussed various topics including "Zero-Rating: ‘Positive Net Neutrality’ and the Material Reduction of Consumer Choice" and "Privacy in the Times of Bulk State Surveillance."
  • Future Visions for a Democratic Internet, Dublin, Ireland (June 2019): Presented a paper on "Private Jurisprudence and the Right to Be Forgotten," exploring the complexities of digital privacy and data retention.

Dr. Leiser's contributions extend beyond traditional academic circles, significantly impacting legal practice, policy-making, and public discourse. His presentations at these forums demonstrate his commitment to advancing understanding and shaping policy in digital law, privacy, and cyber governance.



Dr. Mark R. Leiser demonstrates a strong commitment to academia through his teaching and coordination activities. He is actively involved in imparting knowledge related to digital technology, law, and regulation.

His teaching portfolio includes a range of subjects emphasizing the intersection of law and digital technology. Dr Leiser specialises in general courses such as Cyberlaw, which delves into the legal aspects of digital technology and the internet, and Digital Rights, focusing on the legal rights and obligations in the digital realm. He also teaches more specialised courses at the VU, like Data Analytics and Privacy, where he covers topics like data protection and privacy, and e-commerce law, where he focuses on the transactional side of electronic commerce.

Dr Leiser's teaching and coordination activities reflect his deep expertise and passion for educating the next generation of legal professionals in the ever-evolving landscape of digital law and regulation. His efforts are crucial in equipping students with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate the complexities of law in the digital age.

Ancillary activities

  • Riga Graduate School of Law | Riga, Latvia | Visiting Professor | 2020-10-01 - present
  • DigiData Consulting | Glasgow | Directeur/eigenaar | 2022-06-01 - present
  • Information Law & Society Center | MIlan | Non-residential international research fellow | 2022-06-01 - 2024-06-01

Ancillary activities are updated daily

Academic qualification

Law, PhD


  • K Law (General)
  • Regulation
  • Human Rights Law
  • Fundamental Rights
  • Artificial Intelligence Law
  • Cyber Law
  • Digital Law
  • Information Technology Law
  • T Technology (General)
  • platform regulation
  • Data protection
  • Consumer protection
  • Disinformation
  • Artificial Intelligence

User created Keywords

  • Digital Law
  • internet
  • data protection
  • disinformation
  • digital design law
  • fundamental rights
  • platform regulation
  • UX/UI Law


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