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CPDP 2016: Making sense of the right to data portability

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Published on Mar 1, 2016

Making sense of the right to data portability

Organized by KU Leuven Centre for IT & IP Law - iMinds

Chair: Jef Ausloos, KU Leuven Centre for IT & IP Law - iMinds (BE)

Moderator: Lillian Edwards, University of Strathclyde (UK)

Panel: Esa Kaunistola, Microsoft (BE), TJ McIntyre, Digital Rights Ireland (IE), Lilian Mitrou, European Council (EU), Peter Swire, Georgia Tech. (US)

The right to data portability was introduced in the Data Protection Regulation (inter alia to empower individuals) and has been criticized ever since. Even though commendable in the abstract, when looked at more closely, this elusive concept does indeed raise a lot of questions. It has been argued, for example, that the right belongs in consumer, competition and/or IP law rather than in data protection law. It is unclear how the right should be enforced and what authority would oversee this (DPA, Competition, etc.). Moreover, the right raises many technical – for example related to interoperability – and socio-economic – for example related to lack of consumer choice – questions.

Looking at data portability from a number of perspective – the user perspective; the business perspective; and in light of its interaction with competition law – the panel will begin by considering the right to data portability’s legislative process. Next, this panel will discuss and explore issues related to the right to data portability through two concrete case studies. In particular, the following themes will be considered:

- How did the right to data portability end up in the GDPR?
- What are the right’s merits and drawbacks?
- Four different perspectives on the right to data portability
- Exploration of the concept through two case studies: (a) data generated through wearables and (b) reputations on eCommerce platforms

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