- How to assess privacy violations in the age of Big Data? Analysing the three different tests developed by the ECtHR and adding for a fourth one
- Information & Communications Technology Law
- Volume | Issue number
- 24 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Law (FdR)
- Institute for Information Law (IViR)
It is commonly believed that privacy cases are resolved by balancing the private interest (e.g. personal autonomy) and the common interest (e.g. national security) involved with a particular privacy violation. Clearly, this approach no longer holds in the age of Big Data, in which massive amounts of personal data are gathered without a pre-established goal. Not only is the balancing test inapplicable because it is often unclear how certain data gathering and processing initiatives improve the societal interest, but it is also hard to demonstrate whether and if so how an individual has suffered from such massive data processing systems. Besides the balancing test, however, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) applies two other tests when dealing with privacy issues. Both have an added value when applied to privacy violations following from Big Data processes. Still, if Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) is to retain its significance in the new technological environment, it might be necessary to develop a new test, the rudiments of which might already be found in the Court's case law.
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