The Unstoppable Expansion of EU Fundamental Right to Data Protection. Little Shop of Horrors?

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The EU fundamental right to data protection and the secondary legislation in this field are undergoing a constant process of expansion both through decisions of the Court of Justice of the EU as well as by means of legislative measures. This right is not only expanding in terms of its material and personal scope of application, but it is also gradually gaining importance compared to other fundamental rights and competing interests. Moreover, its scope of application is expanding outside of the EU borders as EU data protection becomes progressively more important for third-country controllers. The General Data Protection Regulation foresees further expansion of the scope of application of EU data protection. This article aims to assess the consequences of this gradual expansion of EU data protection and to determine whether the EU data protection regime could potentially expand to an undesirable extent, creating imbalances in the overall regime of fundamental rights protection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)812-841
JournalMaastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • data protection
  • legislative expansion
  • judicial expansion
  • fundamental rights
  • extraterritorial application

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