Research Handbook in Data Science and Law
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Research Handbook in Data Science and Law

Edited by Vanessa Mak, Eric Tjong Tjin Tai and Anna Berlee

The use of data in society has seen an exponential growth in recent years. Data science, the field of research concerned with understanding and analyzing data, aims to find ways to operationalize data so that it can be beneficially used in society, for example in health applications, urban governance or smart household devices. The legal questions that accompany the rise of new, data-driven technologies however are underexplored. This book is the first volume that seeks to map the legal implications of the emergence of data science. It discusses the possibilities and limitations imposed by the current legal framework, considers whether regulation is needed to respond to problems raised by data science, and which ethical problems occur in relation to the use of data. It also considers the emergence of Data Science and Law as a new legal discipline.
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Chapter 8: Legal tech and blockchain for corporate governance and shareholders

Anne Lafarre and Christoph Van der Elst

Abstract

This chapter looks at how legal tech can offer smart solutions for classical corporate governance inefficiencies, like the agency problem and the old-fashioned Annual General Meeting of Shareholders (hereinafter: the AGM). This chapter focusses on the smart solutions of legal tech, thereby investigating and critically assessing its benefits and risks in the field of corporate governance and the AGM. The chapter provides a general introduction to the agency problem and the associated agency costs between shareholders and their corporate board members in corporate governance and introduces blockchain technology as a solution to the agency problem, thereby discussing the decentralized autonomous organization (hereinafter: The DAO). Although blockchain offers the possibility to create a decentralized peer-to-peer network, we will see that The DAO had still some governance problems. Therefore, the authors consider blockchain and smart contracting technology to decrease the monitoring and bonding costs of companies, by introducing and evaluating a blockchain based AGM.

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