The European Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC requires all European Economic Area (EEA) jurisdictions to provide an equivalent regime protecting the privacy and other fundamental rights and freedoms of natural persons in relation to personal data processing, whilst also shielding media expression from the default substantive requirements as necessary to ensure a balance between fundamental rights. Through a comprehensive coding of the derogations set out in each jurisdiction's data protection laws, this article provides the first systematic analysis of whether this has in fact been achieved. It is demonstrated that there is a total lack of even minimal harmonization in this area, with many laws providing for patently unbalanced results especially as regards the publication of sensitive information, which includes criminal convictions and political opinion, and the collection of information without notice direct from the data subject. This reality radically undermines European data protection's twin purposes of ensuring the free flow of personal data and protecting fundamental rights, an outcome which remains largely unaddressed by the proposed new Data Protection Regulation. Practical suggestions are put forward to ameliorate these troubling inconsistencies within the current process of reform.
* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.
Usage data cannot currently be displayed.