European Data Protection Regulation and the New Media Internet: Mind the Implementation Gaps
Final version published as “European Data Protection Regulation and Online New Media: Mind the Enforcement Gaps”, Journal of Law and Society (Vol. 43 (4), pp. 534-64) (2016)
31 Pages Posted: 29 May 2015 Last revised: 5 May 2020
Date Written: September 1, 2015
Data Protection Authorities (DPAs) play a critical role in shaping and applying the regulation applicable to online media publication within the European Economic Area. Drawing on seven ubiquitous types of online new media actors, a comprehensive survey of these authorities was undertaken. Tallying the strong symbolic importance given to data protection in Europe, this research disclosed European DPAs generally adopt an expansive interpretation of the law here. In contrast, implementation has been weak and lacking in harmonization. Except for street mapping services, each type of online media actor had only faced relevant enforcement action from a minority of these agencies. DPA financial resourcing is very limited. Notwithstanding the development of DPA ʻnetwork governanceʼ through the Article 29 Working Party, only DPAs with a particularly extensive interpretative stance proved likely to have engaged in extensive enforcement activity. The proposed General Data Protection Regulation may only make a modest contribution to resolving these serious problems.
Keywords: Article 29 Working Party, Data Protection, Freedom of Expression, Fundamental Rights, Harmonization, Online Media, Networked Governance, Privacy, Social Media
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