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PROTECT | Protecting privacy and personal data in a post-Charter Europe

 Governação, Economia e Sociedade
Palavras-Chave: Protecção de dados; Regulação do risco; Charter of Fundamental Rights; Data Protection Directive

Coordenador(a): Maria Eduarda Gonçalves

Equipa DINÂMIA’CET-IUL: Paula Castro, Nuno Piçarra, Inês de Jesus (BI July 2011- October 2012); Leonor Bettencourt (BI since 15/05/2012)

Outros Membros:

Parcerias: Faculdade de Direito da Universidade Nova de Lisboa (FD/UNL) - Centro de Estudos e investigação sobre Direito em Sociedade (CEDIS)

Entidade Financiadora: FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia

Data de Início: 03/2011  Data de Finalização: 02/2013

In recent times the world has witnessed dramatic changes in the ways personal data are accessed, processed and used. Personal data are a key asset of the information economy. The amount and variety of personal information in public administrations’ databases and systems also escalates. At the same time, the general public is becoming increasingly aware of the risks associated with this trend for both individuals and society. A set of normative issues thereby arises about how to define the correct balance between the interests and values at stake, namely, those of organizations oriented towards the more efficient handling of various services and activities; and those of individuals towards the safeguard of their privacy and personal data. In the European Union, this tension was first addressed by the Data Protection Directive - DPD (1995). This directive sought to guarantee a high level of protection of individuals in respect of their personal data protection without stifling the free circulation of information. Later on, a number of measures taken at EU level as part of the Space for Freedom, Security and Justice raised mounting concerns about their bearing on privacy and the inherent individual freedoms, namely: new information systems for control of individuals’ movements within the EU and across its borders, identity cards containing biometrical data and the Data Retention Directive. However, the weighting up of internal security against privacy and data protection lacks an equivalent legal basis to the DPD, as the European Court of Justice has recognised in a recent judgement. As the use of personal data and related risks increase in these ways, the need to reassess the DPD is being acknowledged. This call emerges whilst the Charter of Fundamental Rights has just entered into force with compulsory effect. The Charter has been regarded as an effort to make human rights “determine” rather than simply “limit” the EU legal system implying a demand to the legislator and judiciary to “tilting the balance between regulatory policies and individual freedoms in favour of the latter”. The Charter may then play a role as a benchmark against which the balances of economic freedoms with fundamental rights and of these rights among each other can be tested. A challenging theoretical target for this project thus is to critically analyse the principles, rights and guarantees contained in the DPP and adopted under the Space of Freedom, Security and Justice and to proceed to an evaluation of the underlying balancing of values and rights. Another, complementary, goal is to deepen our comprehension of the related social values, the assumption being that citizens’ attitudes and behavior in respect of real or potential violations of privacy and data protection can be a relevant source of information for both regulators and judges, as well as a condition for more effective enforcement of data protection laws.
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Outputs: 1- book7 - papers

3 - presentations at scientific meetings

3 - Organization of scientific events

2 - reports