Practical Challenges to the Right to Data Portability in the Collaborative Economy
Collaborative Economy: Challenges and Opportunities, Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Internet, Law & Politics. Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Barcelona, 21-22 June, 2018
20 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2019
Date Written: June 21, 2018
With the entering into force of the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) in May 2018, data subjects in the European Union (“EU”) will have the right to data portability for certain data processing operations. While the introduction of this novel right will pose challenges for all data processing operations, some specific obstacles for data subjects could stem from the specific features of the collaborative economy and its platforms. Difficulties could inter alia arise from the complexities in clearly allocating the roles of “controller” and “processor” within collaborative platforms, or from the lack of clarity about the scope of Article 20 GDPR. In addition, practical challenges to the right to data portability might be posed by the fact, that currently the dominant collaborative platforms are headquartered outside of the EU (especially in the United States), meaning potential issues concerning international data transfers and the missing of a defined format for replying to portability requests. To ensure that the empowerment for data subjects that was intended with the right to data portability is preserved in the context of the collaborative economy, these potential obstacles need to be thoroughly assessed through analysing the text of the GDPR, including guidance issued by the data protection authorities and academia. To this end, the author will first shortly describe the collaborative economy and the right to data portability, and afterwards assess its interconnections by using the tools mentioned. The resulting analysis, will hopefully contribute to a clearer understanding of the right to data portability from the perspective of a data subject in the context of the collaborative economy, and present in a comprehensive manner some of its most pressing practical challenges.
Keywords: collaborative economy, platforms, GDPR, data portability, data subject rights, allocating the role of controller and processer, international data transfers
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