Pre-Formulated Declarations of Data Subject Consent – Citizen-Consumer Empowerment and the Alignment of Data, Consumer and Competition Law Protections

CiTiP Working Paper 33/2017

45 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2018

See all articles by Damian Clifford

Damian Clifford

Australian National University College of Law

Inge Graef

Tilburg Law School; Tilburg University - Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT); Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC)

Peggy Valcke

KU Leuven - Centre for IT & IP Law (CiTiP); European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS); Bocconi University Milan

Date Written: February 20, 2018

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to examine the alignment of the respective data protection and privacy, consumer protection and competition law policy agendas through the lens of pre-formulated declarations of consent whereby data subjects agree to the processing of their personal data by accepting standard terms. The article aims to delineate the role of each area with specific reference to the GDPR and ePrivacy Directive, the Unfair Terms Directive, the Consumer Rights Directive and the proposed Digital Content Directive in addition to market dominance. Competition law analysis is explored vis-à-vis whether it could offer indicators of when ‘a clear imbalance’ in controller-data subject relations may occur in the context of the requirement for consent to be ‘freely given’ as per its definition in the GDPR. This complements the data protection and consumer protection analysis which focuses on the specific reference to the Unfair Terms Directive in Recital 42 GDPR stating that pre-formulated declarations of consent should not contain unfair terms. Attention is paid to various interpretative difficulties stemming from this alignment between the two instruments. In essence, this debate circles the thorny issue of the economic value of personal data and thus tries to navigate the interpretation minefield left behind by the cross-reference.

Keywords: Consent, personal data, unfair terms, market dominance

Suggested Citation

Clifford, Damian and Graef, Inge and Valcke, Peggy, Pre-Formulated Declarations of Data Subject Consent – Citizen-Consumer Empowerment and the Alignment of Data, Consumer and Competition Law Protections (February 20, 2018). CiTiP Working Paper 33/2017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3126706 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3126706

Damian Clifford (Contact Author)

Australian National University College of Law ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

Inge Graef

Tilburg Law School ( email )

Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

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

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

Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC) ( email )

Warandelaan 2
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Peggy Valcke

KU Leuven - Centre for IT & IP Law (CiTiP) ( email )

Sint-Michielsstraat 6 box 3443
Leuven, 3000
Belgium

European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS) ( email )

Villa La Fonte, via delle Fontanelle 18
50016 San Domenico di Fiesole
Florence, Florence 50014
Italy

Bocconi University Milan ( email )

via Roentgen 1
Milan, Milan 20100
Italy

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