The European Data Protection Supervisor (“EDPS”) issued an Opinion on “coherent enforcement of fundamental rights in the age of big data”. This is an update to the EDPS’ Preliminary Opinion in 2014 on “Privacy and competitiveness in the age of big data”. The Preliminary Opinion observed a tendency for EU rules of data protection, consumer protection, and antitrust enforcement and merger control to be applied in “silos”. The new Opinion develops the notion and suggests that the Digital Single Market Strategy provides an opportunity for a “coherent approach”, and makes recommendations to support this.
New data-driven technologies and services are important for economic growth, which have become reliant on the “covert tracking” of individuals who are likely unaware of the tracking. There is the danger that larger companies may be able to block smaller companies from entering the market. This might also have the knock-on effect of creating an imbalance between the providers and consumers which may ultimately impact on choice, innovation and the protection of their personal data.
When considering the rights and freedoms set out in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU – including the right to privacy, the protection of personal data and freedom of expression – it has been recognised that these rights are “threatened by normative behaviour and standards that now prevail in cyberspace.” So the latest Opinion encourages regulators to engage in dialogue and share lessons learned to work collaboratively and uphold the interests of individuals and society in the ever-growing digital environment.
Continue Reading In the age of Big Data, the EDPS issues an Opinion on enforcement and upholding fundamental rights