The Internet, User Autonomy and EU Law

Private Power, Online Information Flows and EU Law: Mind the Gap (Hart 2016)

33 Pages Posted: 22 May 2016 Last revised: 2 Apr 2017

Angela Daly

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law; Swinburne University of Technology; Tilburg University - Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT)

Date Written: May 17, 2016

Abstract

This chapter examines the Internet’s origins and development as a ‘freedom-enhancing’ tool, alongside the contemporaneous evolution of EU law and regulation governing private economic power. The concept linking these two streams of discussion is that of ‘user autonomy’, which is implicated by the Internet’s affordances for individuals, and which, it is argued, should also be the legal and regulatory framework’s goal when governing Internet matters. However, the trends influencing EU law and regulation from the 1980s, especially neoliberalism, have resulted in these frameworks - competition law, sector-specific regulation, data protection and fundamental rights - not being well-equipped to advance user autonomy in the Internet sphere.

Keywords: internet, freedom, regulation, users, autonomy, EU law, neoliberalism, competition law, consumer choice, data protection, human rights

JEL Classification: K20, K21, K00, K23

Suggested Citation

Daly, Angela, The Internet, User Autonomy and EU Law (May 17, 2016). Private Power, Online Information Flows and EU Law: Mind the Gap (Hart 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2780789

Angela Daly (Contact Author)

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law ( email )

Level 4, C Block Gardens Point
2 George St
Brisbane, QLD 4000
Australia

Swinburne University of Technology ( email )

Cnr Wakefield and William Streets, Hawthorn Victor
3122 Victoria, Victoria 3122
Australia

Tilburg University - Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT) ( email )

P.O.Box 90153
Prof. Cobbenhagenlaan 221
Tilburg, 5037
Netherlands

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