My Data is Mine Award
This year, Euroconsumers is delighted to announce that the winner is Laura Somaini. Ms. Somaini's essay contributes to the broader debate on the European digital ecosystem, focusing on consumers, consumer organisations, policymakers and industry groups.
“I very much recognise the profile of big data as being the new currency of the Internet. Here we have something extremely valuable because, when you have access not only to one person’s data but to millions and billions of data, then you can make [an] analysis which is completely different from what you were able to do five or ten years ago, because you have new tools.” - Margrethe Vestager; European Parliament Confirmation Hearing
Drawing on the quote above, and on the recent developments in legislation regarding data protection (e.g. GDPR); what is the ideal relationship between consumers and their personal data? What is the role of other stakeholders (consumers organisation, industry groups, and the public sector) in securing a more equitable status quo with regard to data protection?
Laura Somaini is an Associate at Pierstone Brussels, specialising in IT and data protection law, and conducts research in affiliation with CRIDES center of Université Catholique de Louvain. She holds a Law Degree from Bocconi University and an LL.M in EU Law from the College of Europe. She previously was a Research & Teaching Assistant at Bocconi University, focusing on constitutional law and digital privacy. She has authored contributions on EU data protection law, non-personal data, online disinformation and internet regulation.
Her essay :
The EU legal framework has set a high bar for the fundamental right to data protection – not least by adopting what is now a global golden standard, the GDPR. In practice, however, it can be difficult to reconcile this right with the complex reality of data collection and its use practices. Against this backdrop, Laura’s winning essay proposes the most effective (and realistic) way to frame a consumer-friendly relationship with one’s data. She also challenges the importance of the shift towards a holistic approach to data protection, competition and consumer law in the digital economy’s context. This essay points out the opportunities of consumer collective redress and the role of stakeholder groups in realising this. Read the essay here