From Cyberpunk to Regulation – Digitised Memories as Personal and Sensitive Data within the EU Data Protection Law

Journal of Intellectual Property, Information Technology and Electronic Commerce Law (JIPITEC), Vol. 8(4), Forthcoming

University of Cambridge Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 40/2017

16 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2017 Last revised: 13 Dec 2017

See all articles by Krzysztof Garstka

Krzysztof Garstka

British Law Centre; University of Cambridge

Date Written: July 22, 2017

Abstract

Every new medium through which information can be communicated is likely to bring new challenges for the established data protection laws and paradigms. In the light of progressing research aimed at deciphering the human brain, this article seeks to analyse the General Data Protection Regulation’s ability to respond to the possible appearance of memory digitisation technology. To this end, the article draws on the fictional setting of a PC game entitled Remember Me, where such a technology was developed and embraced by the society. In an exploratory analysis, the GDPR’s definitions of personal and sensitive data are put to a test of their ability to remain “technology-neutral” in the face of an information technology capable of identifying individuals in unique and unprecedented ways. The article confirms the Regulation’s preliminary potential to accommodate the studied invention and proposes an interpretation of the corresponding articles of the GDPR, aimed at the adequate protection of data subjects.

Keywords: Information Technology Law; Data Protection Law; Personal Data; Sensitive Data; Cyberpunk; Memory Digitisation

Suggested Citation

Garstka, Krzysztof, From Cyberpunk to Regulation – Digitised Memories as Personal and Sensitive Data within the EU Data Protection Law (July 22, 2017). Journal of Intellectual Property, Information Technology and Electronic Commerce Law (JIPITEC), Vol. 8(4), Forthcoming; University of Cambridge Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 40/2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3007183

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