Balancing the Rights to Data Protection and Freedom of Expression and information in the EU: The Vulnerability of Rights in an Online Context
23 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2018
Date Written: June 1, 2016
The main legislative instrument for the protection of personal data in the EU is the Data Protection Directive. It has an extremely wide scope because most data that is shared can be classed as personal data and most activities concerning data can be seen as the processing of it. It also covers a large amount of modern communication methods that fall under the protection of the right to freedom of expression and information under Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Right of the European Unions. To address the tension between the rights, the Data Protection Directive provides for diff erent mechanisms to balance them. Th is article departs from the premise that European courts prioritize certain interests in a given social context through this balancing exercise. Th e purpose of this article is to verify how the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) sets those priorities where the rights to data protection and freedom of expression and information confl ict, especially in the context of developing communication technologies.
Keywords: freedom of expression, privacy, data protection, right to be forgotten, balancing, EU law
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