© 2016

Virtuality and Capabilities in a World of Ambient Intelligence

New Challenges to Privacy and Data Protection


Part of the Law, Governance and Technology Series book series (LGTS, volume 32)

Also part of the Issues in Privacy and Data Protection book sub series (ISDP, volume 32)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xx
  2. Power and Freedoms

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Luiz Costa
      Pages 3-13
    3. Luiz Costa
      Pages 15-41
    4. Luiz Costa
      Pages 43-65
    5. Luiz Costa
      Pages 67-92
  3. Rights

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 93-93
    2. Luiz Costa
      Pages 95-135
    3. Luiz Costa
      Pages 171-175
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 177-199

About this book


This book is about power and freedoms in our technological world and has two main objectives. The first is to demonstrate that a theoretical exploration of the algorithmic governmentality hypothesis combined with the capability approach is useful for a better understanding of power and freedoms in Ambient Intelligence, a world where information and communication technologies are invisible, interconnected, context aware, personalized, adaptive to humans and act autonomously. The second is to argue that these theories are useful for a better comprehension of privacy and data protection concepts and the evolution of their regulation. Having these objectives in mind, the book outlines a number of theses based on two threads: first, the elimination of the social effects of uncertainty and the risks to freedoms and, second, the vindication of rights. Inspired by and building on the outcomes of different philosophical and legal approaches, this book embodies an effort to better understand the challenges posed by Ambient Intelligence technologies, opening paths for more effective realization of rights and rooting legal norms in the preservation of the potentiality of human capabilities.


World of Ambient Intelligence Privacy and Data Protection Virtuality and Capabilities Power and Freedoms Enabling Technologies Power Through technology Freedom and Means to Freedom Well-Being and Agency Capabilities and Human Rights Theories of Technology Impact of Technology Design on Capabilities Capabilities and Risk Human Development Human Enhancement Privacy, A Fundamental Human Right Privacy and Well-Being Virtuality, Privacy and Capabilities

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Faculté de Droit (Visiting Researcher)University of Namur, CRIDSNamurBelgium

About the authors

Luiz Costa is a researcher specialized in information technology law. He holds a masters degree from the University of Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne and a ph.d. from the University of Namur. His main research interests are related to human rights and emerging technologies, particularly from a philosophical and legal point of view. Since 2016 he has been a fellow at the Research Centre in Information, Law and Society (crids). He also has 14 years’ experience as a federal prosecutor in Brazil.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Virtuality and Capabilities in a World of Ambient Intelligence
  • Book Subtitle New Challenges to Privacy and Data Protection
  • Authors Luiz Costa
  • Series Title Law, Governance and Technology Series
  • Series Abbreviated Title Law, Governance and Technology Series
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Law and Criminology Law and Criminology (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-39197-7
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-81841-2
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-39198-4
  • Series ISSN 2352-1902
  • Series E-ISSN 2352-1910
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XX, 199
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics IT Law, Media Law, Intellectual Property
    Philosophy of Law
    Philosophy of Technology
    European Law
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
Industry Sectors


“Virtuality and Capabilities in a World of Ambient Intelligence by Luiz Costa represents a relevant effort to address this phenomenon from the perspective of ubiquitous intelligent devices and their impact on the law, specifically data protection and privacy. … Virtuality and Capabilities in a World of Ambient Intelligence is a title that combines legal–philosophical approaches with up-to-date technological concepts to provide a better understanding of the legal challenges presented by this approach.” (Jesus Manuel Niebla Zatarain, International Journal of Law and Information Technology, Vol. 25 (4), 2017)