Regulatory approaches to the Right to Privacy and the Protection of Personal Data in Europe

This presentation focuses on the regulation of a right to privacy and personal data protection. It starts off with privacy as a fundamental right enshrined in international and European Human Rights regimes and focuses specifically on the integration of personal data protection therein. It will show how both individual legitimate expectation and human dignity has found their influences in the creation of a right to personal data protection. Additionally, this presentation will demonstrate how the fundamental right's logic of ‘scope and legitimate interferences’ has found its way into the sphere of personal data processing by private actors. Up to the point where private data processing actors are obliged to conduct a significant part of fundamental right interference and balancings tests as part of their daily data processing practices. Can the same logic be induced for the regulation of expression and speech?

Regulatory approaches to Free expression in Europe

The analysis aims to provide the initial answers to the question how the Internet has influenced the exercise and the judicial protection of this freedom. The rapid evolution of Internet stands behind the current ‘regulatory nervousness’ around the free expression. The shift from national anxieties to the continental regulatory zeal is caused by the lack of territorial jurisdiction over the online content and the privatisation of justice on the Internet. I first outline the protective framework of free expression in Europe, identifying benefits and pitfalls the existing system yields. I then examine the landmark cases of the ECtHR and CJEU. I raise the question whether there is any coherent approach for determining the free expression threshold in Europe and if so, what consequences it has on its online governance. I conclude that the current regulation creates a chilling effect towards this freedom because it stands on inconsistencies that result in a weak protective framework.

Safeguarding rights through deregulation? What Free Expression can learn from Privacy

Despite ongoing conflicts about the implementation of the GDPR, it represents a landmark piece of legislation that will define the international concept of Privacy for decades to come. The GDRP represents an agreement within Europe that the right to privacy needs greater levels of protection and a common understanding of how elements of this right can be implemented technically. Similar things cannot be said for freedom of expression, as there is no international agreement on what healthy culture of expression would look like, let alone technology or policy. The talk will discuss how decades of knee-jerk reactions by states to political speech have created a fragmented speech governance. Instead of cultivating enabling environments, states focus on short-term political issues. As a result speech governance is automated, privatized and without any meaningful accountability. I will conclude with some suggestions on how Europe could define sustainable standards of speech governance.