The Right to Erasure in EU Data Protection Law

ISBN : 9780198847977

Jef Ausloos
560 ページ
156 x 234 mm

This book critically investigates the role of data subject rights in countering information and power asymmetries online. It aims at dissecting 'data subject empowerment' in the information society through the lens of the right to erasure ("right to be forgotten") in Article 17 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In doing so, it provides an extensive analysis of the interaction between the GDPR and the fundamental right to data protection in Art.8 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU (Charter), how data subject rights affect fair balancing of fundamental rights, and what the practical challenges are to effective data subject rights.

The book starts with exploring the data-driven asymmetries that characterise individuals' relationship with tech giants. These commercial entities increasingly anticipate and govern how people interact with each other and the world around them, affecting core values such as individual autonomy, dignity and freedom. The book explores how data protection law, and data subject rights in particular, enable resisting, breaking down or at the very least critically engaging with these asymmetric relationships. It concludes that despite substantial legal and practical hurdles, the GDPR's right to erasure does play a meaningful role in furthering the fundamental right to data protection (Art. 8 Charter) in the face of power asymmetries online.


1 Introduction

Part I - The Right to Erasure in EU Data Protection Law

2 Foundations of Data Protection Law

3 Scope of the Right to Erasure

4 Conditions of the Right to Erasure

Part II - Balancing & Data Protection

5 Balancing in the GDPR

6 Balancing Scenarios

7 Open Questions on Balancing in the GDPR

Part III - Effectiveness

8 Making the Right to Erasure Work in Practice

9 Summary and Conclusion


Jef Ausloos is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Amsterdam's Institute for Information law (IViR) and an affiliated researcher at the KU Leuven's Centre for IT & IP Law. Jef holds degrees in law from the Universities of Namur, Leuven and Hong Kong and has worked as an International Fellow at the Center for Democracy & Technology and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. His research centres around data-driven power asymmetries and the normative underpinnings of individual control, empowerment and autonomy in modern-day, largely privatised information ecosystems. His PhD-thesis (2018), which formed the basis of this book, received two prestigious awards: the Council of Europe's Stefano Rodota award and the International Institute of Human Rights' Rene Cassin Prize.