Tues 21st Mar, 4pm: Jef Ausloos (KU Leuven) – Ctrl-Alt-Delete: Tracing the Right to Erasure (‘right to be forgotten’) in EU Data Protection law

We are delighted to announce another discussion group event which will take place on Tuesday 21st March at 4pm in Room 1.18 of David Hume Tower. Our speaker is Jef Ausloos, a doctoral researcher at the KU Leuven Centre for IT & IP Law. Jef’s research focuses on the so-called right to be forgotten as well as the interaction of different fundamental rights and interests on the Internet. In his PhD (which he started in 2013) more specifically, he looks a the power (im)balance over personal data between individuals and online corporate entities. For more information, see Jef’s profile on the KU Leuven website.

Ctrl-Alt-Delete: Tracing the Right to Erasure (‘right to be forgotten’) in EU Data Protection law

Heavily debated over the past few years, the right to be erasure – a.k.a. the right to be forgotten – has been carved into EU law with the adoption of the General Data Protection Regulation (2016/679) in April 2016. This seminar will set out the right’s (a) history and rationale, (b) scope of application and (c) what elements trigger its invokability.
Jef Ausloos will describe the right to erasure’s coming of age throughout the past decades and how it emerged from data protection law’s objective of empowering data subjects. An aim that is particularly topical in the context of the ubiquitous information society and the vast power asymmetries it precipitates. Because semantics matter, especially in law, Jef will briefly elucidate the difference between the right to erasure and related concepts. Next, Jef will present the main issues that arise when determining the GDPR’s scope of application in light of the right to erasure. These relate in particular to the material scope of application – i.e. what data does the right to erasure cover and to what extent – and personal scope of application – i.e. who should the right to erasure be directed to. He will then dissect Article 17 in the GDPR, explaining (a) the six ‘right to erasure triggers’, i.e. situations in which data subjects can invoke a right to erasure; (b) the obligation to communicate erasure requests to others; and (c) the exemptions to the right to erasure. Finally, Jef will draw some general conclusions as to the merits of the right to erasure in the information society and invites the audience to come up with suggestions and ideas on how to further assess this data protection right in light of online power asymmetries..

The talk will be followed by a Q&A section and refreshments will be provided. All students and staff are welcome and no registration is required.