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The University of Southampton
Interdisciplinary Centre for Law, Internet and Culture (iCLIC)

Ctrl-Alt-Delete: Tracing the Right to Erasure ('right to be forgotten') in EU Data Protection Law Seminar

Jef Ausloos
11:00 - 13:00
3 March 2017
University of Southampton, Highfield Campus, Building 5, Room 2017 LT J

For more information regarding this seminar, please email Sophie Stalla-Bourdillon at .

Event details

“Ctrl-Alt-Delete: Tracing the Right to Erasure (‘right to be forgotten’) in EU Data Protection law”. Heavily debated over the past few years, the right to be erasure - a.k.a. the right to be forgotten - has been carved into EU law with the adoption of the General Data Protection Regulation (2016/679) in April 2016. This seminar will set out the right’s (a) history and rationale, (b) scope of application and (c) what elements trigger its invokability. Jef Ausloos will describe the right to erasure’s coming of age throughout the past decades and how it emerged from data protection law’s objective of empowering data subjects. An aim that is particularly topical in the context of the ubiquitous information society and the vast power asymmetries it precipitates. Because semantics matter, especially in law, the candidate will briefly elucidate the difference between the right to erasure and related concepts. Next, Jef will present the main issues that arise when determining the GDPR’s scope of application in light of the right to erasure. These relate in particular to the material scope of application - i.e. what data does the right to erasure cover and to what extent - and personal scope of application - i.e. who should the right to erasure be directed to. He will then dissect Article 17 in the GDPR, explaining (a) the six ‘right to erasure triggers’, i.e. situations in which data subjects can invoke a right to erasure; (b) the obligation to communicate erasure requests to others; and (c) the exemptions to the right to erasure. Finally, Jef will draw some general conclusions as to the merits of the right to erasure in the information society and invites the audience to come up with suggestions and ideas on how to further assess this data protection right in light of online power asymmetries.

Speaker information

Jef Ausloos, PhD Candidate at the KU Leuven Centre for IT and IP Law- imec. Jef has worked both in academia and civil society organisations in Hong Kong and the USA and holds law degrees from the University of Namur (B.A.), University of Leuven (M.A.) and University of Hong Kong (LL.M). Jef Ausloos has written on a variety of topics in the area of intermediary liability, data protection and privacy law. At the moment he is finishing his PhD research which focuses on the right to erasure in the context of power asymmetries in the information society.

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