Privacy & the ECHR

Bart van der Sloot is one of the world's experts on the interpretation and analysis of the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights on Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, containing the right to privacy. He has created a private database that allows him to do statistical analysis and find correlations and patterns in the data. In addition, he has done extensive comparative research on the jurisprudence of the ECtHR on the right to privacy (Article 8 ECHR) and the right to marry and found a family (Article 12 ECHR).

This article gives an almost complete overview of the material scope of the right to privacy under the European Convention on Human Rights.

Article 8 ECHR was adopted as a classic negative right, which provides the citizen protection from unlawful and arbitrary interference by the state with his private and family life, home and communication. The ECtHR, however, has gradually broadened its scope so that the right to privacy encroaches upon other provisions embodied in the Convention, includes rights and freedoms explicitly left out of the ECHR by the drafters of the Convention and functions as the main pillar on which the Court has built its practice of opening up the Convention for new rights and freedoms.Consequently, Article 8 ECHR has been transformed from a classic privacy right to a personality right, providing protection to the personal development of individuals.

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The book 'Group Privacy' is edited by Linnet Taylor, Luciano Floridi and Bart van der Sloot.

"The overall goal of the book is to present the latest research on the new challenges of data technologies. It will offer an overview of the social, ethical and legal problems posed by group profiling, big data and predictive analysis and of the different approaches and methods that can be used to address them. In doing so, it will help the reader to gain a better grasp of the ethical and legal conundrums posed by group profiling. The volume first maps the current and emerging uses of new data technologies and clarifies the promises and dangers of group profiling in real life situations. It then balances this with an analysis of how far the current legal paradigm grants group rights to privacy and data protection, and discusses possible routes to addressing these problems. Finally, an afterword gathers the conclusions reached by the different authors and discuss future perspectives on regulating new data technologies."

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The book Privacy as a Virtue discusses whether a rights-based approach to privacy regulation still suffices to address the challenges triggered by new data processing techniques such as Big Data and mass surveillance. A rights-based approach generally grants subjective rights to individuals to protect their personal interests. However, large-scale data processing techniques often transcend the individual and their interests.

Virtue ethics is used to reflect on this problem and open up new ways of thinking. A virtuous agent not only respects the rights and interests of others, but also has a broader duty to act in the most careful, just and temperate way. This applies to citizens, to companies such as Apple, Google and Facebook and to governmental organizations that are involved with large scale data processing alike.

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This book is intended for three types of audiences:

• It is written for privacy researchers who are interested in other fields of research. Suppose you are a lawyer and are faced in your research with aspects of ethics and informatics – this book will provide you with a basic understanding of those disciplines and suggest further readings on specific topics that may be of interest to you.

• It is written for students who are interested in privacy from a multidisciplinary background. It can be used as a basic textbook in interdisciplinary educational programmes such as the minor Privacy Studies. It can also be used for disciplinary courses of which privacy is one of the aspects.

• It is also written for a general audience interested in privacy. Privacy is in the news almost every day – Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, hacks and political profiling, medical research and big data technology, the General Data Protection Regulation, and mass surveillance by intelligence agencies, etc.

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Other Scientific Contributions

The Practical and Theoretical Problems with ‘balancing’

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Do privacy and data protection rules apply to legal persons? 

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Privacy as virtue: searching for a new privacy paradigm

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Draft article based on a database of the case law  of the ECtHR on Article 8.

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This article explains in detail how the European Court of Human Rights determines the outcome of cases revolving around a potential violation of the right to privac.

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