The tide is turning: personal data protection has become yesterday’s news. The EU is now looking into the regulation of data sharing. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which became applicable in May 2018, is arguably the most influential legal instrument governing our digital lives. The Regulation has provided individuals with new and enhanced protection of informational privacy. By requiring companies and public authorities alike to process data according to specific rules and principles, it has had a major impact on digital markets as well as governmental practices. Enhanced by the case law of the European Court of Justice, the Regulation has also become effective in practice.
However, the EU has recently started to explore new ways of regulating data. The focus is now shifting towards opening up data flows to ensure a functioning digital market. Innovation is key and data is the material from which it is forged. The EU aims to compete on the global digital market by regulating how data can be used and re-used. These new endeavours are not easy to reconcile with data protection rules in the GDPR, which seek to protect fundamental rights to privacy in digital economies. Continue reading