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.
When I was in Germany several years ago, I attempted to play a music video on YouTube that I had first seen in the United Kingdom. It was blocked on copyright grounds. I wondered, if the European Union guarantees the free movement of goods and services between Member States (which the UK and Germany both are), how could Germany block access to music I could freely access back home in London? This question inspired my Masters Thesis, which explored European copyright law in the context of digital music services. I even got to interview the head of licencing at Spotify as part of my research!