Algorithmic business and EU law on fair trading

Galli, Federico (2021) Algorithmic business and EU law on fair trading, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Law, science and technology, 33 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/9750.
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This thesis studies how commercial practice is developing with artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and discusses some normative concepts in EU consumer law. The author analyses the phenomenon of 'algorithmic business', which defines the increasing use of data-driven AI in marketing organisations for the optimisation of a range of consumer-related tasks. The phenomenon is orienting business-consumer relations towards some general trends that influence power and behaviors of consumers. These developments are not taking place in a legal vacuum, but against the background of a normative system aimed at maintaining fairness and balance in market transactions. The author assesses current developments in commercial practices in the context of EU consumer law, which is specifically aimed at regulating commercial practices. The analysis is critical by design and without neglecting concrete practices tries to look at the big picture. The thesis consists of nine chapters divided in three thematic parts. The first part discusses the deployment of AI in marketing organisations, a brief history, the technical foundations, and their modes of integration in business organisations. In the second part, a selected number of socio-technical developments in commercial practice are analysed. The following are addressed: the monitoring and analysis of consumers’ behaviour based on data; the personalisation of commercial offers and customer experience; the use of information on consumers’ psychology and emotions, the mediation through marketing conversational applications. The third part assesses these developments in the context of EU consumer law and of the broader policy debate concerning consumer protection in the algorithmic society. In particular, two normative concepts underlying the EU fairness standard are analysed: manipulation, as a substantive regulatory standard that limits commercial behaviours in order to protect consumers’ informed and free choices and vulnerability, as a concept of social policy that portrays people who are more exposed to marketing practices.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Galli, Federico
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Artificial Intelligence - marketing - data economy - personalisation - EU consumer law - fairness - unfair commercial practices
Data di discussione
28 Maggio 2021

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