Trade Secrets v Personal Data: A Possible Solution for Balancing Rights
International Data Privacy Law, Volume 6, Issue 2, 1 May 2016, Pages 102–116,
15 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2018
Date Written: January 29, 2016
It is necessary to find a balance between data protection rights and trade secret rights on customer information in the European Union (EU) framework: the right to access to personal data and the new proposed right to ‘data portability’ conflict with the interests of trade secret holders.
Balancing rules in data protection law and trade secret law are vague and ambiguous. From a literal interpretation of the analyzed GDPR and Trade Secret Directive, it is possible to understand a legislative ‘favor’ for data protection rights.
The solution can be to ‘decontextualize’ secret data so that customers can access only data strictly related to their biographical information, while trade secret holders can be free not to disclose the output of their data processing (behavior evaluation, forecast, studies on life expectancy, personalized marketing plan, pricing, etc.) if disclosure can adversely affect their interests.
Keywords: trade secrets, personal data protection, privacy, balancing rights
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