Internet Jurisdiction and Data Protection Law: An International Legal Analysis (Part 1)
International Journal of Law and Information Technology, Vol. 18, p. 176, 2010
26 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2009 Last revised: 1 Feb 2014
Date Written: October 1, 2010
Data protection law has been the subject of an increasing number of jurisdictional disputes, which have largely been driven by the ubiquity of the Internet, the interconnectedness of the global economy, and the growth of data protection law around the world in recent years. There are also an increasing number of instances where data protection law conflicts with legal obligations in other areas. Moreover, the rapid development of new computing techniques (such as so-called ‘cloud computing’) is putting even greater pressure on traditional jurisdictional theories. Jurisdictional uncertainties about data protection law have important implications, since they may dissuade individuals and companies from engaging in electronic commerce, can prove unsettling for individuals whose personal data are processed, and impose burdens on regulators. These difficulties are increased by the fact that, so far, there is no binding legal instrument of global application covering either jurisdiction on the Internet or data protection. This article examines international jurisdiction as it relates to data protection law, and specifically to instances in which jurisdiction under data protection law may be considered ‘exorbitant’, with a particular focus on rules of public international law. This is part 1 of a two-part article.
Keywords: European Union, privacy, data protection, public international law, private international law, conflict of laws, jurisdiction, Internet
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