Data Protection - A Transatlantic Dialogue

An event of the Deutsch-Amerikanische Juristen-Vereinigung e.V. (DAJV) in cooperation with the Bucerius IP Center

Event |

The upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has focused attention again on the gap between privacy law in Europe and in the United States. And indeed, there is a fundamental gap in perspectives in the different approaches to privacy. Nevertheless, there might be opportunities for convergence, and this talk highlights some of them. One is the possibility of agreeing upon certain privacy principles at the level of principle, even if there is disagreement about scope. Thus, while the concept of the Right to be Forgotten has been cast as entirely foreign to U.S. law, in fact, the principle is perfectly compatible, even if the scope of the right in Europe is not. The second potential point of convergence arises from the need to define what counts as personal data subject to privacy or data protection laws. Defining the scope of "personal data" inevitably involves some conception of privacy harms. In this way, the need to define the scope of privacy laws, particularly in an era of "big data," may push both Europe and the United States toward at least asking some of the same questions about privacy, and thereby having a more fruitful dialogue, even if the answers ultimately turn out to be different. 

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