Navigating the right to data portability in the EU’s GDPR

Wenlong Li, winner of PL&B’s student essay competition 2019, discusses the right to data portability in the GDPR and its close relation to consumer protection and competition law.

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was introduced at a time when three areas of EU law – data protection, consumer protection and competition – are converging with each other.(1) Each area of law has also introduced new schemes that facilitate data flows. This begs the question as to whether the GDPR recognises and pursues consumer welfare, an overarching value that are also the objectives of both competition and consumer protection law. It is also worth exploring whether the GDPR’s right to data portability (RtDP) should be either integrated with or differentiated from other rights.(2) This essay provides an account of EU law’s convergence, and looks at how interpretation and implementation of the RtDP may be affected as a result.

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