Posted on Categories data economy, privacy/personal data protection

What is the right to personal data?

When seeking inspiration for the future legal status of data, it is worth taking a closer look at how the right to personal data has been shaped. In particular, we could consider whether it is a property right and whether the current legal framework for the right to personal data corresponds to reality and meets our needs.

The attempt to define an absolute right to personal data is mainly driven by Art. 1(2) of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, which states that one of the objectives of the regulation is to protect the “right to the protection of personal data.” The right to protection of personal data is also enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

The source of this right is found in European legislation. For this reason, an attempt to determine the substance of the right to data protection is difficult, as we cannot simply and directly refer to structures known from the different legal systems of the member states.

The essence of the right to data protection seems to be indicated in recital 7 of the GDPR preamble, which states, “Natural persons should have control of their own personal data.” Thus, the right to protection of personal data is primarily intended to give data subjects control over their data. The specific content of this right is defined by the protective instruments provided for in the GDPR. Among other things, these instruments consist of a guaranteed right to information about processed data, the right of control, but also the right to object to data processing. Many of these rights are similar to the bundle of rights also found in classical property law structures. However, important differences also exist.

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Posted on Categories electronic identification, privacy/personal data protection

Tech versus virus: Contact tracing

The battle with the coronavirus is dynamically entering another phase. After the initial shock, we are realising that technology may have a crucial impact on the rate of return to a somewhat more normal life. This doesn’t mean just biotech. Solutions keeping the virus under relative control until effective vaccines reach the market can prove just as important.

With this article, we would like to launch a series of publications on the legal aspects of solutions for supporting the battle with the coronavirus. These solutions are extremely interesting from the conceptual and technological perspective, but also entail numerous legal issues.

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Posted on Categories electronic identification, privacy/personal data protection

Verification of age to access pornographic content

An anti-obscenity association issued a proposal for an Act on Protection of Minors against Pornographic Content on 16 December 2019. It has gained the official support of the Family Council, which recommended to the Prime Minister that the proposal be adopted for further legislative work. The Minister of Family, Labour and Social Policy announced that work on the bill should conclude in the first half of 2020. The need to restrict children’s access to pornography is obvious, but the proposal has generated much controversy, mainly due to the proposed mechanism for age verification, which may invade internet users’ privacy. The proposal would also impose additional obligations on telecommunications operators, electronic service providers, and payment service providers.

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Posted on Categories privacy/personal data protection

The right to be forgotten only in the EU

The Court of Justice of the European Union has once again spoken about the limits of the right to be forgotten. This time, it answered requests for a preliminary ruling in the case of Google v CNIL (Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés, the French public authority responsible for regulating personal data processing). The case concerned a fine of EUR 100,000 which the CNIL imposed on Google after it refused to remove, in the exercise of a data subject’s right to be forgotten, links from all language versions of its search engine.

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Posted on Categories privacy/personal data protection

A fine for facial recognition

Recently, the Swedish supervisory authority responsible for compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation imposed a fine of approximatively EUR 20,000 for the use of technology to monitor students’ attendance. Importantly, the processing of personal data in the form of images of students was not carried out on a permanent basis, but was a short-term test to assess the usefulness of such a solution in the schools’ activity.

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Posted on Categories IT, privacy/personal data protection

CNIL fines insurance broker for online breach of personal data

We wrote several months ago about the imposition of fines by the French data protection authority CNIL (Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés) for data protection breaches. Recently CNIL has imposed more fines, including for violation of standards for secure processing of personal data on a website.

The case involved an auto insurance broker. On the broker’s website, users could request a calculation of insurance premiums, conclude an insurance contract, and log on to their account, where various types of personal data were accessible, such as bank statements and information about driving-licence suspensions or convictions for traffic violations.

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