Researcher in Spotlight: Sini Mickelsson


The Researcher in Spotlight is a series which introduces the researchers of the Faculty of Law. We are presenting now Project Researcher Sini Mickelsson (nee Laajala).

Position in the Faculty of Law: Doctoral researcher and project researcher
Degrees: Master of Laws (University of Turku) 
Fields of interest:
My research focuses on EU data law, particularly on justifications of sharing and reusing sensitive personal data from the perspective of data protection law. In general, my fields of interest include all kids of legal issues relating to information and technology law, as well as digital rights.

Describe your career path. What led you to where you are today?

I graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Turku with a Master of Laws degree in 2017. During that time, I had the opportunity to participate in research project Making MyData Real, which motivated me to apply for a position as a doctoral researcher within the faculty. Nevertheless, I ended up working full time as a data protection specialist for several years. When I returned from my parental leave in 2021, I noticed that IDA research project was looking for a project researcher whose position aligns well with my research interests so I decided to apply for the position. I began as a project research for IDA project in autumn 2021 and simultaneously continued also my doctoral studies.

Sini Mickelsson taustalla Calonian kirjastoa.

Sini Mickelsson hopes that as a researcher and specialist, she can both benefit society and contribute to building a better world.

What projects are you currently working on? 

I work as a project researcher for IDA, "Intimacy in data-driven culture", project ( My research primarily focuses on data protection law, specifically the justifications of using and sharing personal data. I also collaborate with a multidisciplinary research group, where we investigate, among other things, data leaks.

Have your interests evolved since finishing your studies?

While studying, I was very interested in intellectual property rights in addition to data protection law. I am still interested in IPR, but nowadays from data-centric perspective. Due to IDA project, I have started to pay more attention to human rights perspective of law, which complements well my otherwise very technology focused approach. 

What would you be, if you were not a researcher?

If I weren't a researcher, I would most like be working as a data protection specialist full-time. During my studies, I had planned to work as a data protection officer and I have also done so after my graduation. In the future, I want to work broadly with data and information law-related matters. 

What inspires you?

In IDA, I have had the opportunity to work multi-disciplinarily, collaborating with talented researchers from various fields, combining different perspectives, and I find it very inspiring. The possibilities of technology and data utilization both inspire and, of course, frighten me, and that keeps me going. In the big picture, I hope that as a researcher and specialist, I can both benefit society and contribute to building a better world for my own children and other future generations.

Created 05.10.2023 | Updated 05.10.2023