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Valerie Verdoodt is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Faculty of Law & Criminology of Ghent University, where she is a member of the Law and Technology research group. She is also a Visiting Lecturer on 'Children’s rights in the digital environment' at the Georg August University of Göttingen. Her research focuses on the legal and fundamental rights questions originating from the development of new media and technology, in particular (but not exclusively) regarding the protection and participation of children online. She is particularly interested in studying children’s rights in the context of (new) forms of commercial exploitation online (e.g. commercialisation of play through datafication, gam(bl)ing, digital child labour). She currently co-supervises the interdisciplinary Gam(e)(a)ble project, which studies the convergence of gaming and gambling. From 2019-2021, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Law Department of the London School of Economics (LSE), where she co-taught 'Digital Rights', 'IT and the Law', 'Cyberlaw' and 'EU Law'. Prior to joining the LSE, she was a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for IT and IP Law at KU Leuven (CiTiP) and a lecturer in 'Electronic Contracts Law' on the IP and IT Law LLM at KU Leuven, Campus Brussels. Valerie holds a joint PhD from KU Leuven and Ghent University. In her PhD thesis, 'Children’s Rights and Advertising Literacy in the Digital Era', she focused on the role of children’s rights in regulating new advertising techniques. More specifically, based on a detailed overview and an in-depth evaluation of several legislative frameworks, policy documents, self-regulatory initiatives and the key literature, she developed children’s rights-inspired recommendations aimed at fostering a more empowering regulatory framework for commercial communications. During this time, she also worked as a legal expert on children’s rights and digital advertising for the World Health Organisation and the Council of Europe. Furthermore, she was a Visiting Researcher at eLaw, the Center for Law and Digital Technologies at Leiden University. Prior to her PhD research, Valerie worked as lead researcher on several European (FP7) and national (IWT-SBO) research projects on topics such as privacy and consumer protection in relation to social media, digital advertising, cyberbullying, media literacy, smart cities, botnets, etc. She holds an LLM in IT and IP Law from KU Leuven and she spent one academic year at Queen Mary University of London as an exchange student. Valerie is also an affiliated postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for IT and IP Law at KU Leuven (CiTiP). Furthermore, she is an editor of the CiTiP blog, assistant-editor of the Kluwer Encyclopaedia of Laws – Media Law, and a member of the Working Group on unhealthy food marketing and children of the Superior Health Council of Belgium. From 2016-2020, she was a member and Vice-Chair of the Strategic Advisory Committee for Media ("SARC Sectorraad Media"), the official advisory body of the Flemish Minister for Media.
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