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eLaw and EuDEco’s panel at the CPDP 2017

The Conference on Computers, Privacy and Data Protection (CPDP) is an annual world-leading multidisciplinary conference that takes place in January in Brussels. In January 2017, eLaw, the Centre for Law and Digital Technologies of Leiden University, participated in the CPDP conference as one of the event’s partners and a panel’s organiser. In setting up a panel, eLaw has joined forces with other EuDEco partners.

The panel, attended by approx. 100 participants, focused on secondary data uses and privacy challenges, and was moderated by Dr. Bart Custers, Associate Professor and Head of Research at eLaw. eLaw’s researcher and PhD candidate Helena Uršič contributed as a speaker together with three other guests from Germany and Slovenia: dr. Gintare Surblyte (Max Planck Institute Munich), Žiga Bahovec (European Commission) and Tim Dellas (Ascora GmbH). Pernille Tranberg, an independent consultant and the author of “Data Ethics – The New Competitive Advantage” chaired the discussion.

The panelists addressed a number of highly relevant and challenging legal and ethical issues. Among others, they discussed the problem of potential interference with human rights protection, the role of technology in achieving personal data protection, and the overlaps between data protection and other legal domains. The objective of the panel was to come up with suggestions and recommendations leading towards a sustainable and competitive data economy that meets the legal, ethical and economic requirements set by society.

Ms Uršič used EuDEco’s visualization tool to illustrate the current model of the data economy and describe the complex landscape of legal rules that apply to data reuse activities. Personal data protection regulation stood out as one of the most challenging parts of the legal framework. Mr Dellas described his first-hand experience in working with data-driven products and services. He emphasized the importance of security and privacy, and shared best practice in costumers’ data protection. Mr Bahovec focused on the European Commission's proposal for the Regulation on Privacy and Electronic Communications. E-privacy rules will now also cover new providers of electronic communications services, such as WhatsApp, Facebook messenger and Skype. By going from a Directive to a directly applicable Regulation, all people and businesses in the EU will enjoy the same level of protection for their electronic communications. In Bahovec’s opinion, the regulation has potential to increase the protection of citizens’ private life and open up new opportunities for the European businesses. Finally, dr. Surblyte expressed the view that not individual data but data silos are relevant in the data economy. Trade secrets regulation is critical in this regard, as it seems to fit data markets best. Also, stated dr. Surblyte, using trade secrets rules would in turn lead to more privacy and could strengthen protection of data subjects.


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