The project AUTO-WELF investigates the extensive implementation of automated decision-making (ADM) in the welfare sector.
Rafaela is a researcher at the ITA since January 2023. She is Brazilian and holds a Master’s Degree in Human Rights and a Bachelor’s Degree in Law. In addition to her research experience, she served for civil society organizations for some years, when she worked in efforts related to legal empowerment, campaigns, public interest advocacy, and strategic litigation. Her main research interests are located in the fields of gender, technology, privacy, surveillance, and the right to the city. She is currently based in Vienna and her working languages are both Portuguese and English.
During her Bachelor’s Degree studies in Law, at the Federal University of Pernambuco (2008-2013, UFPE, Brazil), she participated in initiatives such as an academic project focused on popular education for human rights inspired by Paulo Freire's thinking (Najup/UFPE). After graduating in Law, she started her Master’s Degree in Legal Sciences, concentration in Human Rights, at the Federal University of Paraíba (2014-2016, UFPB, Brazil), when she was supported by a scholarship from Brazil’s Federal Government and conducted, for her dissertation, an ethnographic inspired study with a group of inhabitants that had been subjected to a forced eviction. The theoretical framework of her dissertation was mostly based on Historical Materialism, and she was a member of a research group on Marxism, Law, and Social Struggles (GPLutas/UFPB) that was especially focused on György Lukács’s The Ontology of Social Being at that time. Over the years after receiving her Master's Degree, she took some academic courses independently, which encompassed Urban Studies and Social Movements, in addition to Gender, Technology, and Surveillance, and also received additional training in Personal Data Protection, Internet Governance, and Artificial Intelligence regulation.
She was Teaching Assistant (estagiária de docência) in General Sociology and Sociology of Law in her Master’s Degree. After finishing her Master’s studies, she worked at the Brazilian Office of a Latin-American NGO, in which she supported legal empowerment initiatives in urban slums. Later, she joined Article 19 Brazil and South America, where she worked as Assistant to the Acting Executive Director, Digital Rights Assistant, and finally Digital Rights Officer. In this context, she dealt with the relationship between Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) and Freedom of Expression for around three years, which included topics such as privacy, personal data protection and online anonymity; infrastructure and digital gaps in the access to the Internet; disinformation and digital platforms; and data surveillance. Since her undergraduate years, she has been organizing events and workshops for different audiences and constituencies. Her previous experience also encompassed the carrying out of advocacy activities with local and national authorities in Brazil; participation in coalitions and mobilizations with social movements and NGOs; support to strategic litigation initiatives for digital rights in different South American countries; organization of independent sessions in national and international fora; and development and draft of reports, guides, and policy briefs.
Tel.: +43 (0)1 515 81-6566
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