Jo Pierson, Ph.D., is Full Professor in the Department of Media and Communication Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in Belgium and Principal Investigator at the research centre SMIT (Studies on Media, Innovation and Technology). In this position, he is in charge of the research unit ‘Data, Privacy & Empowerment’, in close cooperation with imec (Belgian/Flemish R&D and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technology). He holds the VUB Chair in ‘Data Protection on the Ground’. and is also affiliated with Hasselt University and University of Amsterdam. His key management positions within the VUB are Vice-Chair of University Education Council, Chair of Faculty Education Council, and Academic Secretary for Faculty Bureau of the Faculty of Social Sciences & Solvay Business School. His main research expertise is in online platforms, algorithms, data privacy and user innovation. Since 2016 he is part of the Scholarly Review Committee of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR).