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    Module 2: Data Protection and Press Freedom

    Modules on Litigating Digital Rights in Europe

    In this new information age, the task of safeguarding personal information has gained dramatically in significance and complexity. As online data sharing and data collection continue to expand rapidly, law and policy makers play catch up with the threats the new reality poses to our privacy.  Europe, with its high level of internet penetration (in 2022, some 85% of Europeans were active on the internet) has been at the forefront of developing legal safeguards for the protection of personal data online. Although laws and policies continue to evolve in this field and the tension between the right to personal data and other rights is far from being resolved, robust protection measures have already been implemented in most national jurisdictions and at the EU level. Some of them, however, come at a serious cost to freedom of expression. Within the Council of Europe framework, the European Court of Human Rights have tested some of these measures, with mixed results.

    Stronger protection of personal data is not always a bad thing for journalists. They benefit from it too, especially when it comes to such new threats as digital surveillance and online intimidation and harassment. This module, however, focuses on the aspects of data protection that come into conflict with freedom of expression online, with special emphasis the right to be forgotten.