Université Toulouse 1 Capitole Law Economics Management


"Which European protection for personal data?" IRDEIC symposium

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on the March 14, 2014

<Unknown label> - Guy Isaac amphitheater (MI V - Amphi Colloque)

With the advances in information and communication technologies how to ensure citizens and corporations with a high standard of control of their own personal data and privacy?

BA_Protection données persos Europe_GW.jpg

BA_Protection données persos Europe_GW.jpg

With the advances in information and communication technologies how to ensure citizens and corporations with a high standard of control of their own personal data and privacy? How can users’ freely shared personal data be protected so as to prevent their re-sale and re-use by Web 2.0 services like Facebook or Google? Which guarantees are citizens granted in case of data being intercepted for national security purposes? Which standards should apply to corporations and administrations to protect their clients, users and staff in the competitive context of globalized data storage and flow?

In France, the protection of personal data is ruled out by the law of January 6th 1978 and in the European Union by the Directive 95/46/CE of 24 October 1995. But the disparity of data protection rules in different European countries is ill-suited in an environment of systematic mass digitalization, granted that personal data has become cash economy to the American multinationals of the Internet, which threatens individual fundamental rights. The European Union must now find the right legal framework to strike a balance between the advent of the Internet market of personal data and the recognition, within Europe, of a fundamental right to data protection (art. 8 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and art. 16 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union).

On 25th January 2012, the European Commission proposed a major reform of the Directive of  1995. The adoption of this legal package is now a European major political challenge in the process of achieving the digital single market, made all the more urgent after the exposure of the NSA (National Security Agency) widespread interception practices and of the existing networks between Internet business operators and the American government. The economic impact of the reform is just as important, given that corporations will have to comply with breach notification requirements and respect of privacy by design; they will also have to collect express consent by the individuals for processing their data, to conduct impact studies (risk management) and last of all, to abide by the one-stop shop principle and comply with the rules for cross-border data flow transfers.


In this context, the increasingly suspicious European citizens demand higher standards of protection: are the Commission proposals in discussion consistent, effective and realistic enough? Can the member States reach a common ground, particularly vis-à-vis the United States? How do European corporations react to these reform proposals and to what extent do they see themselves in a position to make these new rights effective? Are the proposed requirements consistent with the necessary competitive targets of a global economy as well as with the protection of personal and corporation data? 


Scientific direction: Céline Castets-Renard, Professor





Federative Research Institute in Law (IFR-Law)

Date of update March 10, 2014

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