'The Most Important Right You Have Never Heard Of' and the EU Data Protection Reform
16 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2015
Date Written: October 1, 2015
According to data published by the European Commission in April 2015, the value of European citizens' personal data has a potential to grow to almost EUR 1 trillion annually by 2020. Hence, the ‘big data’ sector has become an attractive target for private companies' investments. However, only 22% of European citizens have full trust in companies like search engines, social networking sites and e-mail services. Therefore, one of the European Commission's priorities for 2015 is to conclude the ongoing negotiations on EU data protection reform by the end of the year.
This paper firstly sets out the legal framework of the right to protection of personal data. The analysis of the applicable legislation focuses on the issues outlined in the Court's Google Spain judgement (the territorial application of the Data Protection Directive and ‘the right to be forgotten’). Further, this paper analyses the power of private entities with respect to enforcing the right to be forgotten in practice. I conclude the paper by providing a perspective on the right to protection of personal data under the reform package which is now subject to the approval of the Council of the European Union.
Keywords: the right to be forgotten, EU data protection reform, big data, protection of personal data, Google Spain
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