Data Protection - A Transatlantic Dialogue
Past Event Details
October 26, 2017
Location: Bucerius Law School, Room U.56
Prof. Dr. Felix Wu is Professor of Law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City, where he is also the Faculty Director of the Cardozo Data Law Initiative. He brings his background in computer science, including a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, to his research and teaching at the intersection of information law, data privacy, freedom of speech, and intellectual property. He has previously written about the limits of online intermediary immunity, on understanding the role of data de-identification in law, and on the relationship between data privacy and theories of free expression. Professor Wu received his A.B., summa cum laude, in computer science from Harvard University, and his J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. Prior to teaching at Cardozo, he was an associate first at Covington & Burling in San Francisco and later at Fish & Richardson in Boston, and he clerked for Judge Sandra L. Lynch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. He is a member of the Order of the Coif and Phi Beta Kappa.
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.