Security and the future of personal data protection in the European Union

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The security/privacy nexus has generated much attention in the European Union (EU) during the last years. In the context of the establishment of EU's Area of Freedom, Security and Justice, the EU has promoted a broad spectrum of measures serving a wide understanding of security (ranging from crime prevention to immigration control), and characteristically entailing the massive processing of information about individuals,2 be it through the creation of large scale EU-wide databases3 or by facilitating information sharing among national authorities.4 To counter the risks for individuals associated with such measures, the EU is formally relying on an elaborated system of personal data protection laws,5 detailing concrete safeguards that substantiate the human right to respect for private life (also known as right to privacy) as established by the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR). From this standpoint, security is envisaged as a ground potentially legitimising interferences, but only under strict conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-342
Number of pages12
JournalSecurity and Human Rights
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2013


  • privacy
  • personal data protection

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