Technical Standards as Data Protection Regulation

16 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2008 Last revised: 1 Feb 2014

See all articles by Jane K. Winn

Jane K. Winn

University of Washington - School of Law

Date Written: 2008


Two important features of European integration have been a deepening commitment to in-formation privacy as a fundamental human right, and the successful integration of technical standards into the regulatory framework to support the growth of the internal market. This paper will explore the costs and benefits of trying to integrate technical standards into European data protection laws as a possible strategy to enhance compliance and enforcement efforts. Adapting the successful "New Approach" model for harmonizing industrial standards to the dynamic and volatile ICT markets will be difficult, however. While product standards are commonly used to achieve social regulation goals, it is unclear whether ICT standards can be used in a similar manner. Accepting the discipline imposed by "better regulation" principles, and adopting new perspectives on the legitimacy of regulatory bodies, might increase the chances that ICT standards can be harmonized with data protection laws, which in turn might increase the practical impact of those laws.

Keywords: data protection, privacy, information privacy, technical standards, ICT standards, technical barriers to trade, electronic signatures, tandardizaiton, standardisation, standard setting, standard developing

Suggested Citation

Winn, Jane, Technical Standards as Data Protection Regulation (2008). Available at SSRN: or

Jane Winn (Contact Author)

University of Washington - School of Law ( email )

William H. Gates Hall
Box 353020
Seattle, WA 98105-3020
United States


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