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Information Sovereignty

Data Privacy, Sovereign Powers and the Rule of Law

Radim Polcak and Dan J.B. Svantesson

This thought-provoking work elaborates on the assumption that information privacy is, in its essence, comparable to information sovereignty. This seemingly rudimentary observation serves as the basis for an analysis of various information instruments in domestic and international law. It also provides for the method to resolve situations where informational domains of individuals and/or states collide. Information Sovereignty combines a philosophical and methodological analysis of the phenomena of information, sovereignty and privacy. It also encompasses more practical discussions of cybersecurity and cross-border processing of personal data, including in the context of cross-border discovery of digital evidence.
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Chapter 10: Conclusions

Data Privacy, Sovereign Powers and the Rule of Law

Radim Polcak and Dan J.B. Svantesson

Extract





Our hero Keith Floyd – to whom this book is dedicated – once said, ‘Cooking is an art and patience a virtue … Careful shopping, fresh ingredients and an unhurried approach are nearly all you need’.1 We think that something similar is applicable to law, and more precisely to the reform of the law. Paraphrasing Floyd, we argue that law reform is an art and patience indeed a virtue. Careful shopping (of ideas), fresh ingredients and an unhurried approach are nearly all you need. We are hoping that this book may provide some of the much-needed fresh ingredients.

Floyd’s call for an unhurried approach, and his observation that patience is a virtue, may seem unrealistic when applied to law-making, given the fast pace with which technology develops. It is also true that in some fields – for example law enforcement cross-border access to data – the discussions have been going on long enough to make it reasonable to expect the world to be ready to make mature and sensible decisions. At the same time, however, we need to make sure that the solutions we advance are properly thought through. It simply is not good enough to see utterly misguided proposals such as the original version of Article 3 of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, which would have allowed Europeans to rely on EU data privacy law wherever in the world they travelled. That proposal was a beta version that was as unready for the world as was Samsung’s...

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