How Might the Gdpr Evolve? A Question of Politics, Pace and Punishment

33 Pages Posted: 17 May 2024

See all articles by Gerard Buckley

Gerard Buckley

University College London - Department of Computer Science

Tristan Caulfield

University College London - Department of Computer Science

Ingolf Becker

University College London

Date Written: May 16, 2024

Abstract

The digital age has made personal data more valuable and less private. This paper explores the future of the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by imagining a range of challenging scenarios and how it might handle them. We analyze United States', Chinese and European approaches (self-regulation, state control, arms-length regulators) and identify four key drivers shaping the future regulatory landscape: econopolitics, enforcement capacity, societal trust, and speed of technological development. These scenarios lead us to envision six resultant versions of GDPR, ranging from laxer protection than now to models empowering individuals and regulators.
While our analysis suggests a minor update to the status quo GDPR is the most likely outcome, we argue a more robust implementation is necessary. This would entail meaningful penalties for non-compliance, harmonised enforcement, a positive case to counter the regulation-stifles-innovation narrative, defence of cross-border data rights, and proactive guidelines to address emerging technologies. Strengthening the GDPR's effectiveness is crucial to ensure the digital age empowers individuals, not just information technology corporations and governments.

Keywords: Privacy, Data Protection, Regulation, Evolution, Future Thinking, Scenarios

Suggested Citation

Buckley, Gerard and Caulfield, Tristan and Becker, Ingolf, How Might the Gdpr Evolve? A Question of Politics, Pace and Punishment (May 16, 2024). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4830619 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4830619

Gerard Buckley (Contact Author)

University College London - Department of Computer Science

Gower Street
London
United Kingdom

Tristan Caulfield

University College London - Department of Computer Science

Gower Street
London
United Kingdom

Ingolf Becker

University College London ( email )

London
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: https://ibecker.eu

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