Granular Legal Norms: Big Data and the Personalization of Private Law


Against the background of the emerging debate about personalized law, this book chapter explores how BigData and algorithm-based regulation could fundamentally change the design and structure of legal norms: impersonal law based on typifications could be replaced by a more personalized law, based on “granular legal norms”.

We argue that the use of legal typifications which is a hallmark of impersonal law can be conceptualized as the answer to an information problem, a concession to the imperfections of a legal system administered by humans. The emergence of super-human capacities of information-processing through artificial intelligence could make it possible to personalize the law and achieve a level of “granularity” that has hitherto been unachieved. The chapter analyses the benefits of “granular legal norms” as well as possible limitations and objections, in particular privacy concerns and the principle of equality.

Full paper available here

Christoph Busch, University of Osnabrück – European Legal Studies Institute

Alberto De Franceschi, University of Ferrara – Faculty of Law

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