Shaping the field of EU Data Law

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The lawmakers in Brussels have worked relentlessly in recent years on enacting legislation targeting data. Yet, data legislation and the associated research have so far been conducted through the lenses of traditional fields of law, such as copyright law and fundamental rights law. While some authors do use the term “EU data law”, almost no works exist that elaborate on the term and set out the value in conceptually working with an independent field of EU data law. To bridge this gap, the article demonstrates how EU data law can be classified as an autonomous legal field pursuant to the theory of factual classification. Furthermore, it shows how EU data law diverges from adjacent legal fields by striving to safeguard five distinct objectives stemming from data’s particular characteristics. The objectives can be summarised as protection of the following: (i) a competitive market, (ii) fundamental rights, (iii) consumers, (iv) trustworthiness and (v) Open Data. The article argues that to effectively create, interpret and enforce data legislation, it is necessary for the EU lawmaker to take into account all of these objectives, thus making classification an essential tool for ensuring a coherent body of data legislation. Moreover, the article advances that there is a dichotomy within EU data law between economic goals and fundamental rights. While such a dichotomy is not an issue in itself, it is problematic if it is not taken adequately into account by the legislator when proposing and enacting data legislation. The article concludes that the EU legislator must actively acknowledge the effects of the dichotomy in order to ensure a coherent data legislation capable of sustaining a digital European society.
TidsskriftJournal of Intellectual Property, Information Technology and Electronic Commerce Law
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)54-65
Antal sider12
StatusUdgivet - 2023

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