From simply sharing the cage to living together : reconciling the right of public access to documents with the protection of personal data in the European legal framework

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http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-51-5632-7
Title: From simply sharing the cage to living together : reconciling the right of public access to documents with the protection of personal data in the European legal framework
Author: Talus, Anu
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Law
Doctoral Programme in Law
Date: 2019-11-30
Language: en
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-51-5632-7
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/307454
Thesis level: Doctoral dissertation (monograph)
Abstract: In essence, the transparency and data protection regimes draw from different grounds. The aim of the research was to first identify and analyze the different requirements of the transparency and data protection regimes and thereafter seek the solution for balancing the said requirements. The rules examined in this research regulate the disclosure of information and processing of personal data by the EU´institutions. However, the solution for the tension is sought from the European law in a wider perspective. The analysis of the colliding rules draws from normative legal analysis. Critical legal positivism considers the rules only examples of issues pertaining to the surface level of law and this research draws essentially from the separation of rules and principles based on the doctrines elaborated by such scholars as Ronald Dworkin and Robert Alexy. The requirements drawing from the data protection legislation and the transparency legislation are contradictory to a certain extent and the tension on the level of rules is apparent. The most apparent contradiction relates to the purpose limitation principle, which closely relates to the further processing of personal data and the requirements to reason the disclosure of personal data. Simultaneously, the public access regime builds on a basis where applications for the requests of information do not need to be reasoned. However, the collision of rules does not necessarily reflect a collision of the underlying principles and the research will seek the balance between the examined rules by reconciling the underlying principles of the data protection and public access to documents regimes. After the essence of the examined rights has been identified, it will become clear that the collision does not exist on the level of principles. Besides privacy and self-determination, the requirement to have legal basis is considered to form the hard core of protection of personal data. This element also separates it from privacy. It follows that the right to protection of personal data can be reconciled with the right to public access to documents while the essence of both rights are preserved. A suggestion how to reconcile the examined rights will be given and the concluding analysis will also provide tools for balancing the said rights in the current legal framework by interpretation. There has been earlier study in this field of law. However, this study dates from 2007 and significant changes have taken place after that. A recast process on the Regulation 1049/2001 on public access to documents has been launched and a vast EU data protection reform was finished in the spring 2016. Also, the Court of Justice of the European Union has delivered significant decisions concerning the relationship between protection of personal data and transparency after 2007. Besides providing a new angle for seeking the solution by balancing the underlying principles, this research also provides first analysis of the relationship between protection of personal data and transparency in the current legal framework. Keywords data protection, privacy, personal data, transparency, purpose limitation, further processing, block exemption, democracyVäitöskirjassa tarkastellaan henkilötietojen suojan ja asiakirjajulkisuuden yhteensovittamista EU oikeudellisessa viitekehyksessä. Henkilötietojen suojan ja asiakirjajulkisuuden välillä on jännitteitä, joita EU:n laajassa tietosuojauudistuksessa ei ole täysin ratkaistu. Väitöskirjassa on tarkasteltu unionin toimielinten soveltaman tietosuoja-asetuksen (EU 2018/1725) ja avoimuusasetuksen (EU 10049/2001) säännöksiä. Tutkimusongelmaa on käsitelty muun muassa Ronald Dworkinin ja Robert Alexyn esittämien periaatteiden punnintaa koskevien doktriinien pohjalta. Punninnassa käytettyjä henkilötietojen suojaa ja asiakirjajulkisuutta koskevia periaatteita on johdettu laajemmasta eurooppalaisesta viitekehyksestä, muun muassa Euroopan unionin tuomioistuimen oikeuskäytännöstä ja yleisestä tietosuoja-asetuksesta (GDPR) sekä jäsenvaltioiden kansallisesta lainsäädännöstä. Väitöskirjassa katsotaan, että toimielinten asiakirjoista voidaan luovuttaa henkilötietoja ilman, että henkilötietojen suojan kovaa ydintä loukataan. Väitöskirjassa katsotaan, että henkilötietojen suojan kovaan ytimeen kuuluu joko yksityisyys tai itsemääräämisoikeus sekä edellytys, jonka mukaan henkilötietojen käsittelyllä tulee olla oikeudellinen perusta.
Subject: oikeustiede
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