This collection of quotes from relevant case-law has been compiled with the purpose of being useful to all those working with EU data protection law. The majority of the selected findings are part of a “Countdown to the GDPR” I conducted on social media, one month before the Regulation became applicable, under #KnowYourCaseLaw. This exercise was prompted by a couple of reasons.
First, data protection in the EU is much older and wider than the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and it has already invited the highest Courts in Europe to weigh in on the protection of this right. Knowing what those Courts have said is essential.
Data protection law in the EU is not only a matter of pure EU law, but also a matter of protecting human rights following the legal framework of the Council of Europe (starting with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights – ‘ECHR’). The interplay between these two legal regimes is very important, given the fact that the EU recognizes fundamental rights protected by the ECHR as general principles of EU law – see Article 6(3) TEU.
Finally, knowing relevant case-law makes the difference between a good privacy professional and a great one.
What to expect
This is not a comprehensive collection of case-law and it does not provide background for the cases it addresses. The Handbook of data protection law, edition 2018, is a great resource if this is what you are looking for.
This is a collection of specific findings of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU), the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and one bonus finding of the German Constitutional Court. There are certainly other interesting findings that have not been included here (how about an “Encyclopedia of interesting findings” for the next project?). The ones that have been included provide insight into specific issues, such as the definition of personal data, what constitutes data related to health, what does freely consent mean or what type of interference with fundamental rights is profiling. Readers will even find a quote from a concurring opinion of an ECtHR judge that is prescient, to say the least.
Enjoy the read!