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All human beings have three lives: public, private, and secret. ― Gabriel García MárquezThe European Union's Court of Justice decision in Google Spain v Agencia Española de Protección de Datos, Mario Costeja González ("Google Spain") confirmed the “right to be forgotten” for European citizens. This right is further enshrined in the upcoming General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). Accordingly, European data protection law grants individuals a qualified right to have personal data relating to them removed from search engines. This right is however considered by some to be a uniquely European phenomena, which resulted from one unusual CJEU judgement. Now, two upcoming cases against Google will be the first time in which the "right to be forgotten" will be considered by the English Courts. Two unnamed claimants, known only as NT1 and NT2, are bringing a companion case against Google to enforce their right to be forgotten. (NT1 v Google and NT2 v Google,  EWHC 67 (QB) (Rev 3))
Personal Data has been Hollywood's rising star over the last few years. But will the introduction of Europe's new General Data Protection Regulations steal the spotlight?I had a bit of a migraine this weekend, so I spent the better part of the last two days on the couch watching Narcos and a few period costume dramas on Netflix. As I scrolled through the recommendations deciding what to watch, I smiled to myself thinking of how confusing my behaviours must appear to the algorithms used by Netflix. My tastes vary from watching FBI agents in 1970s Columbia, to Miss Elinor Dashwood in rural Georgian England. Me Before You is apparently a 95% match to my preferences, despite being a film I have no desire to see. On the other hand, Blackfish, the whale documentary I've seen three times, is only a 54% match. Of course, Netflix only knows what my online behaviour reflects. And while it may not be perfect, when my behaviour is combined with my personal data, Netflix recommendations are fairly accurate most of the time. The advancement in behavioural analytics is big business in the world of media consumption - and it's only getting bigger.
For my final essay on the GDL (the law conversion course here in England), I chose to write on intellectual property law. I argued that legal uncertainty and lack of proper enforcement strategies results in fragmentation across the Member States. I earned a Distinction (75% UK) on the paper. This essay (18 pages, double spaced) includes a brief synopsis of intellectual property right basics, followed by a justification of the European Union’s competency to legislate in this area. The third section contextualises the problem of copyright infringement on the internet, with a specific focus on online intermediary liability.