This contribution by Thomas Zerdick, Legal Officer at the European Commission's Data Protection Unit, presents the Commission's understanding of the interface between Data Protection and freedom of expression within the EU.
The presentation argues that in accordance with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights Member States the Data Protection framework does apply to this field and Member States may only provide exemptions which respect the essence of the right to Data Protection and follow the principle of proportionality and necessity. The absolute exemption for private and personal processing should only apply when the individual is not disseminating data to an indefinite number of the public. At the same time, Thomas Zerdick emphases the wide margin of appreciation which Member States are allowed here. The talk was the keynote address of the OxPILS Conference 'The 'Right to be Forgotten' and Beyond' held on 12 June 2012. This Conference was the culmination of 'Mending the Tangled Web? Information Privacy 3.0', a series which was generously made possible with funding from a Joint Programme between the European Union and the Council of Europe. (The views expressed are those of the individual speakers only). For full details please see http://www.csls.ox.ac.uk/conferences/oxpilsconference2012/.