Personal data, at least in the European legal lexicon, is not a conventional
object of property rights. Yet, regardless of the actual legal circumstances,
lively markets in personal data have become a reality. The so-called
information industry routinely collects and deals in databases containing
personal details of people as both citizens and consumers, and appears to
regard this data as its property. Moreover, individuals also treat data
pertaining to them as ‘their own’, and habitually disclose personal data in
exchange for money, goods, services, and online ‘social’ interaction.
This important new book defends the ground-breaking proposal to ‘propertise’
personal data. ‘Propertisation’ arguably improves the position of a data
subject to exercise control over his/her personal data by creating more
effective tools of accountability and monitoring. It can also be used, the
author shows, to enforce existing data protection rights as expressed in the
EC Data Protection Directive (1995), Council of Europe Convention for the
Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1945) and Convention No.
This book inquires to what extent the propertisation of personal data is
legally possible in Europe, and examines what benefits and limitations would
ensue. It provides:
a systematic understanding of the developments and concerns with regard to
a detailed examination of the main arguments for and against the concept of
property in personal data; and
a European perspective on property rights in personal data.
The result is a book full of original insights that breaks new ground in
addressing the problems of personal data in the European law of data
protection and informational privacy.
Chapter 1 Introduction.
Part I Setting the Stage.
Chapter 2 The Personal Data Problem: The Developments Raising Personal
Data Related Issues.
Chapter 3 The Personal Data Problem: Concerns.
Chapter 4 Introduction to Property Discourse.
Part II Origins of the Idea of Propertisation.
Chapter 5 Limitations of US Information Privacy Law in Dealing with the
Personal Data Problem.
Chapter 6 Correcting Shortcomings of the US Information Privacy Law by
Chapter 7 Review of the European Data Protection Regime.
Chapter 8 The Possibility of Propertisation of Personal Data in the EU
Chapter 9 Human Rights Nature of Data Protection as a Limit on
Chapter 10 The Property Rights Solution.
Chapter 11 Conclusion.
Table of Cases.