GDPR & the media – words of warning

Since the CJEU gave judgment in Google Spain, there has been much discussion on the conference  circuit about whether the judgment rides rough shod over free speech rights. Certainly the lack of any procedural protections for the media within the right to be forgotten regime has been the subject of much heated debate. For those of you wishing to understand how Article 10 rights are likely to fare under the new General Data Protection Regulation, you would do well to start with this excellent article by Daphne Keller, Director for Intermediary Liability at Stanford Law’s Center for Internet and Society (and notably former Assistant General Counsel to Google).

As Daphne makes clear, the GDPR does not offer the media much by way of solace. Quite the contrary, what we see with the new Regulation is a continuing failure on the part of European legislators to accommodate free speech rights within the data protection regime in a structured and systematic manner. To a large extent this lack of protection for Article 10 rights is a product of the fact that historically data protection and the media have rarely crossed swords. Certainly within our own jurisdiction, it is only over the last 18 months or so that an awareness of the potentially very substantial areas of tension have begun to surface (see further not least the discussion of the Steinmetz case on this blog). However, the reality is that the European quest to place data privacy rights centre-stage, in the online world and beyond, now  poses serious challenges for the media. This is something which will hopefully start to register at least with those EU regulators who will in due course be charged with applying the GDPR.

Anya Proops