The Right to Privacy in a Digital Society

Idamalie Z. C. Engelbrecht & Jesper Haumann Jørgensen

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis aims to find the effects of the forthcoming implementation of the new General DataProtection Regulation (GDPR) and to see if the rules are efficient compared to the European Commission’s Digital Strategy for the European market.

Governments all over the world have acknowledged the fact that the future growth of modern economy depends on investments within the digital economy. This includes the EU and all its member
states. Consumers however are questioning the actual use of their submitted data and the protection hereof. The result is a general mistrust in data processing companies which have led the European
Commission to strengthening the legislation, by giving the consumer more rights and obligate the companies to document their data processes by a new regulation.

At this point the European digital market is divided by different rules in the 28 member states, which is making it hard for the companies to navigate between national legislation and it is expected that the
Regulation will make it easier for companies to start exporting their product to consumers everywhere in the EU. In response to the harmonization of the data protection legislation member states are
starting to protect their interests by establishing national data localisation measures, to ensure control of the digital data that are collected in each state.

To guarantee an efficient implementation of the Regulation, the incentives of member states, companies and the behaviour of consumers have been analysed and compared to the overall objective
that the Regulation is expected to achieve. It is hereby found that consumers are the difficult factor to control, due to their lack of information and unknown preferences.

By comparing the freedom of expression against the right to privacy it is measured which of the general rights that have to be assigned the greater benefit in order to optimize the investment level
within the EU area. Through the analyzed jurisprudence from the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights, it can be concluded that the right to privacy is essential for the
consumers to keep providing their data and thereby ensuring the continued development of European digital market.

EducationsMSc in Commercial Law, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages132
SupervisorsJan Trzaskowski