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71 Bus. Law. 281 (2015-2016)
After Google Spain and Charlie Hebdo: The Continuing Evolution of European Union Data Privacy in at Time of Change

handle is hein.journals/busl71 and id is 293 raw text is: 












After Google Spain and Charlie Hebdo:
The Continuing Evolution of European Union
Data Privacy Law in a Time of Change


By W. Gregory Voss*




I. INTRODUCTION

   The past year has seen various developments that are modifying data privacy
law in the European Union (EU), with consequences for various sectors of busi-
ness. Over a year ago, the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) issued its
now-famous Google Spain decision, recognizing a so-called right to be forgot-
ten.' This has been followed by EU member state court decisions raising issues
for Internet search engines, publishers of information, and potentially other In-
ternet intermediaries.2 Coordinated European action with respect to Google's
privacy policy, discussed in last year's survey,' has continued, with implications
for other companies offering services that collect and process individual users'
data on the web. Thus, while Google may seem to have been singled out in a
year when that firm is also under European competition law scrutiny,4 the les-
sons to be drawn are more broadly applicable.


  * W. Gregory Voss is a Professor of Business Law at Toulouse University, Toulouse Business School
and an associate member of the Institut de Recherche en Droit Europeen International et Compare
(IRDEIC) in Toulouse, France.
  1. Case C-131/12, Google Spain SL v. Agencia Espanola de Protecci6n de Datos (AEPD), 2014 E.C.R.
317, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/rXT/HTML/?uri CELEX:62012CJ0131&rid 14.
  2. See generally Press Release, Court of Justice of the European Union, An Internet Search Engine
Operator Is Responsible for the Processing that It Carries Out of Personal Data Which Appear on
Web Pages Published by Third Parties (May 13, 2014), http://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/
application/pdfl2014-05/cp140070en.pdf (noting that national courts must dispose of cases in accor-
dance with the decision of the ECJ, which decision is binding on the courts of member states)
  3. W. Gregory Voss, European Union Data Privacy Law Developments, 70 Bus. LAw. 253, 254-57
(2014).
  4. On April 15, 2015, the European Commission opened a formal competition law investigation
into Google's conduct in relation to its Android mobile operating system and sent Google a Statement
of Objections on its comparison shopping service regarding alleged abuse of its dominant position.
See Press Release, European Comm'n, Antitrust: Commission Sends Statement of Objections to Goo-
gle on Comparison Shopping Service; Opens Separate Formal Investigation on Android (Apr. 15,
2015), http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release IP-15-4780 en.htm. While not, strictly speaking a pri-
vacy law development, the antitrust investigation should be considered in conjunction with concerns
that uses of personal data may be examined in the competition law context, after EU antitrust com-
missioner Margrethe Vestager's statement that she's studying the U.S.'s 'stringent approach to dealing
with personal data as a means to payment' in its review of deals. Aoife White & Peter Levring, EU
Deal Probes May Weigh Value of Personal Data: Vestager, BLOOMBERG Bus. (Apr. 9, 2015, 11:09 AM),

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