Dr. Marijn Sax

UvA Profile
Assistant professor

I am an assistant professor at the Institute for Information Law with a background in Political Science (BSc.), Philosophy (BA., MA., both cum laude), and Law (PhD, cum laude). My research is centered around the question of how to understand and normatively evaluate attempts to influence behavior in and through digital choice environments. In my work I try to use ethical theory to inform legal theorizing and interpretation.

I completed my PhD at the Institute for Information Law and Department of Philosophy of the University of Amsterdam. My dissertation, Between Empowerment and Manipulation: The Ethics and Regulation of For-Profit Health Apps, combines ethical and legal approaches. Building on theories of autonomy, vulnerability, trust, and manipulation I try to show how ongoing commercial relations between health apps and their users come with a promise of user empowerment, but also with an almost inevitable risk of manipulation. I propose reinterpretations of key concepts in the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive to help address the manipulative potential of for-profit health apps. During my PhD, I was a visiting PhD researcher at the Digital Life Initiative (Cornell Tech).