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Marc Stauch

This chapter looks at the emergence of data protection as a distinct area of law, including the European initiatives that led up to the enactment of the 1995 Data Protection Directive (and the continuation of that approach in the new 2016 Regulation). It discusses the relationship between this law and traditional privacy tort law concerns, suggesting that whereas tort law has the potential to protect against harm from the disclosure of propositional information, it is less suited to address more surreptitious risks arising from modern digital technology. After examining how the UK has implemented European data protection rules, including in key judicial decisions over the past 15 years, the chapter concludes by asking how far, in the light of Brexit, the UK may be tempted to follow a different model of regulation in the future, such as the US approach, with its lighter supervision of private sector data processing.