Volume 51 (2014)

Volume 51 (2014) / Issue 3

Federico Ferretti, 'Data protection and the legitimate interest of data controllers: Much ado about nothing or the winter of rights?' (2014) 51 Common Market Law Review, Issue 3, pp. 843–868


EU data protection law is in a process of reform to meet the challenges of the modern economy and rapid technological developments. This study analyses the legitimate interest of data controllers as a legal basis for processing personal data under both the current data protection legislation and its proposed reform. The relevant provision expands the scope of lawful processing, but is formulated ambiguously, creating legal uncertainty and loopholes in the law. The new proposed regime does not resolve the problem. Taking a "rights" perspective, the paper aims to show that the provision should be narrowly interpreted in light of the ECJ case law, and to give effect to the Charter of Fundamental Rights; a rephrasing of the norm is desirable. The provision on the legitimate interest of data controllers weakens the legal protection of data subjects.

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ISSN: 0165-0750
ID: COLA2014063