In recent times the world witnessed dramatic changes in the ways personal data are accessed, processed and used. Personal data are a key asset of the information economy. The amount and variety of personal information in administrations’ databases and systems also escalated. At the same time, the general public became increasingly aware of the related risks for both individuals and society. Normative issues thereby arose about how to define the correct balance between the interests and values at stake, a tension first addressed by the Data Protection Directive - DPD (1995). Later on, a number of measures as part of the EU Space for Freedom, Security and Justice raised mounting concerns about their bearing on privacy and individual freedoms, namely: new information systems for control of individuals’ movements within the EU and across its borders, identity cards containing biometrical data, and the Data Retention Directive.
The need to reassess the DPD was therefore acknowledged. This call emerged whilst the Charter of Fundamental Rights entered into force (2010). A challenging theoretical target for this project thus was to critically analyse the principles, rights and guarantees contained in the EU data protection law and under the Space of Freedom, Security and Justice and to proceed to an evaluation of the underlying balancing of values and rights in the light of the Charter. A complementary goal was to deepen our understanding of the related social values. Designing and applying a questionnaire survey to a quota sample of Portuguese respondents pursued this goal.
Period: 2011 - 2013
Funding Institution: FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
Coordination: Maria Eduarda Gonçalves (DINÂMIA'CET-IUL)
External Team: Fernanda Paula Martins Castro, Nuno José Cardoso da Silva Piçarra