Anca Chirita, ‘The Rise of Big Data and the Loss of Privacy’

Abstract:
This paper explains why ‘big data’ matters and why privacy is now lost as a social norm. The European Data Protection Supervisor initially suggested a consumer protection approach to data owned by monopolists. It relied on the essential facility doctrine of intervention where a smaller entrant is foreclosed because it cannot access the data owned by the monopolist. Both the report and the doctrine are now of little help to competition authorities. Instead, the paper will evaluate the legal framework to clarify the scope of application of the data protection rules and elucidate whether competition intervention has any merit in its own right. Articles 7 and 8 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the former Directive 95/46/EC will be mentioned before the paper fully engages with the recent developments in the area of data protection. In particular, drawing on the risks associated with data processing in both Directive EU/2016/680 and Regulation EU/2016/679, the paper seeks to determine how price discrimination can actually happen in the form of abuse of personal data. The latter carries an economic significance, as through the misuse of such data, consumers can be left worse off when bargaining or shopping online. Further risks associated with the processing of personal data concern health, which could, in turn, raise life insurance premium rates. In other cases, personal data can reveal a particular economic situation, personal preferences or interests, reliability, or behaviour, which could make price discrimination much easier …

Chirita, Anca D, The Rise of Big Data and the Loss of Privacy (June 15, 2016). Durham Law School Research Paper, forthcoming.

First posted 2016-06-17 05:37:57

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