Exploring the Essence of the Right to Data Protection and Smart Cities
81 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2020
Date Written: August 20, 2019
This report has been written in the context of the SPECTRE project. SPECTRE stands for 'Smart city Privacy: Enhancing Collaborative Transparency in the Regulatory Ecosystem'. It is a four-year interdisciplinary research project funded by FWO (Flanders Research Foundation - Belgium). The main goal is to examine privacy and data protection challenges in the smart city from the perspective of law, communication studies and economics and to propose solutions to address the privacy/utility challenge that more and more cities are called to face.
The report aims to provide an analysis of the ‘essence’ of the right to data protection and how it is challenged by the smart city paradigm that leaves individuals with limited opportunities for control over their personal data. The focus is on the fundamental rights component of data protection and Article 8 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights rather than the secondary legal framework regulating personal data processing in detail. Even though in the day-to-day legal practice secondary acts like the General Data Protection Regulation dominate the scene, we consider that at both a conceptual and pragmatic level, legal analyses of the scope, interests and values of the right to data protection and the conditions under which it can be limited are essential for the application and future shaping of data protection law. The report transposes the findings of the analysis in the smart city context to demonstrate the tensions between the right to data protection, centred around control and the need to counter power and information asymmetries, and the paradigm of smart city processing.
Keywords: fundamental right to data protection, EU Charter, essence of rights, smart cities
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