[co-author: Robert Clark]
The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) has issued a preliminary opinion that addresses some of the issues and convergences in EU data protection, consumer protection and competition laws that are not up to date with the current development of big data. The EDPS aims to open the floor towards international regulators and experts in these fields to promote growth and innovation as well as consumers’ welfare, including a workshop in Brussels on 2 June 2014.
Recently there has been a huge growth in the marketing of “free” online services that require the provision of personal data in exchange, which calls for the need for enhanced consumer protection. Also, in markets where powerful players may refuse access to personal information and apply inconsistent privacy policies, there is a need to define the standard of consumer harm and market dominance within the anti-competition rules. The EDPS believes that these issues must be explored together with regulators and experts in this field to support consumer choice and privacy, and stimulate the market for privacy-enhancing services in Europe.
The preliminary opinion sets out the background to the digital economy, the legal framework for data protection, competition and consumer protection and the interfaces between these areas. For more information, see the link to the preliminary opinion.