All or Nothing: This is the Question? The Application of Art. 3(2) Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC to the Internet
32 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2007
The Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC (hereinafter the "Directive") was passed in 1995 to harmonise the national data protection laws within the European Community with the aim of protecting the fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals including their privacy as set out under Art. 1 of the Data Protection Directive. The rules governing the processing of personal data are deemed to be inapplicable in the two instances outlined by Art. 3(2). Processing of personal data taking place as part of activities falling outside of Community law are excluded from the DPD. The Directive is also deemed to be inapplicable if the processing of personal data is undertaken by a natural person in the course of a purely personal or household activity. It is the second part of Art. 3(2), which is examined in more detail. The ruling by the European Court of Justice in Lindqvist provides us with a fresh opportunity to re-examine whether the policy justifications for the exclusion under Art 3(2) continue to remain relevant in the light of widespread use of new technologies such as blogs, podcasts and web pages for processing and distributing information. Greater clarity regarding the implication of new communication technologies for DPD policy is necessary if the laws on data protection are to evolve in a coherent and principled manner.
Keywords: Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC, internet, private purposes, blogs, podcasts
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