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Master Informatierecht 2016-2017

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Privacy Law and Policy Summer Course

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  • Blogpost at Kluwer Copyright Blog, 14 April 2016.


  • Presentation delivered at the public conference organized by the Greens/EFA, 6 April 2016, European Parliament, Brussels.


  • Should we worry about filter bubbles?

    Internet Policy Review,  2016-1,

    F.J. Zuiderveen Borgesius, D. Trilling, J. Möller, B. Bodó, C.H. de Vreese & N. Helberger.

    Some fear that personalised communication can lead to information cocoons or filter bubbles. For instance, a personalised news website could give more prominence to conservative or liberal media items, based on the (assumed) political interests of the user. As a result, users may encounter only a limited range of political ideas. We synthesise empirical research on the extent and effects of self-selected personalisation, where people actively choose which content they receive, and pre-selected personalisation, where algorithms personalise content for users without any deliberate user choice. We conclude that at present there is little empirical evidence that warrants any worries about filter bubbles.


  • In: Digital Revolution: Challenges for Contract Law in Practice, R. Schulze & D. Staudenmayer (eds.), Baden Baden: Nomos, p. 135-161.


  • Quick Scan Reserveprijs DVB-T M. Kerste, J. Witteman (SEO), Dr. J.P. Poort

    SEO-rapport nr. 2016-05, in opdracht van het Ministerie van Economische Zaken, Amsterdam, februari 2016.
    ISBN: 9789067338011.

    Op basis van een Quick Scan van internationale veilinguitkomsten en openbare cijfers over de huidige vergunninghouder adviseert SEO/IViR om bij de veiling van de vergunning voor DVB-T ten hoogste een low but non-trivial reserveprijs, van bijvoorbeeld €1 miljoen, vast te stellen.
    KPN/Digitenne en NPO zijn momenteel de vergunninghouders in Nederland voor DVB-T, en maken daarvoor gebruik van de UHF-band (470-790 MHz).  De huidige vergunningen hebben een looptijd van 15 jaar en lopen op 31 januari 2017 af. De Minister van Economische Zaken is verantwoordelijk voor de verdeling van het spectrum en is voornemens de frequenties voor commercieel gebruik vanaf mei 2016 te gaan veilen. De nieuwe vergunning zal dan ingaan op 1 februari 2017 en een looptijd hebben van 13 jaar. Teneinde het verloop van de veiling te versnellen en niet-serieuze aanvragers te weren overweegt de minister bij de veiling een reserveprijs te hanteren vanaf waar het biedingsproces zal aanvangen. Het ministerie van Economische Zaken heeft SEO  gevraagd om gegeven de voorgenomen uitgangspunten en het veilingmodel, een Quick Scan uit te voeren naar de mogelijke invulling van een reserveprijs.
    Het onderzoeksrapport is onderdeel van de consultatie die het ministerie van Economische Zaken heeft uitgezet. Meer informatie is te vinden op:


  • IRIS Special, European Audvisual Observatory, Strasbourg 2016.
    ISBN 9789287182395.
    See here for more information and ability to purchase publication.

    The structure of this study is built around the following questions:
    - What is smart TV?
    - How does smart TV compare with other forms of audiovisual media?
    - What regulatory frameworks govern smart TV?
    - What guidance can be found in selected country-specific case studies?
    - What are the dangers associated with the collection, storage and processing of private user information by commercial parties?
    - How are relevant regulatory frameworks likely to evolve?

    Samsung have warned owners of their smart TVs that the system’s voice recognition could actually be recording and sharing their private conversations. This “bad buzz” comes at a time when Brussels is in the process of adopting new legislation – the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) - aimed at protecting us from abuse and misuse of our private data and consumer behaviour big data collected by smart equipment such as television sets. The European Audiovisual Observatory, part of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, is keeping track of these developments and has published this IRIS Special report entitled "Smart TV and data protection".

    This is a joint publication by the Observatory and partner institution, the Dutch Institute for Information Law (IViR in Amsterdam). It inspired an expert workshop organised in Strasbourg December 2015, which looked at “the grey areas between media regulation and data protection”.


  • Column in Het Financieele Dagblad van 25 februari 2016.


  • Verschenen in: Zonder tegenspraak, nr. 30, E. Lievens (red.), feestbundel Dirk Voorhoof, Brugge: die Keure Professional Publishing 2016, p. 74-79.

    Bijdrage over de vrijheid van meningsuiting in het populistische tijdperk.


  • Overbrenging van de afbeelding van een beschermd werk van een papieren poster op canvas valt onder het distributierecht van art. 4 Auteursrechtrichtlijn 2001/29/EG. Poortvliet-doctrine. Geen sprake van uitputting als drager is vervangen. Beloning voor distributie moet in een redelijke verhouding staan tot de economische waarde van de exploitatie van het beschermde voorwerp. Auteursrechtrichtlijn harmoniseert niet het recht van bewerking.


  • In: Festschrift für Wolfhard Kohte, Faber et al (eds.), Baden-Baden: Nomos, forthcoming 2016.


  • Annotatie bij EHRM 21 juli 2015 (Satamedia / Finland).


  • Annotatie bij EHRM 20 oktober 2015 (Pentikäinen / Finland) Dr. T. McGonagle

    European Human Rights Cases,  2016-3, nr. 52, 


  • In: Liber Amicorum Jan Rosén, G. Karnell, A. Kur, P-J. Nordell, J. Axhamn, S. Carlsson (ed.), ab, Visby 2016, p. 397- 407.
    ISBN: 9789185333660.


  • Information about millions of people is collected for behavioural targeting, a type of marketing that involves tracking people’s online behaviour for targeted advertising. It is hotly debated whether data protection law applies to behavioural targeting. Many behavioural targeting companies say that, as long as they do not tie names to data they hold about individuals, they do not process any personal data, and that, therefore, data protection law does not apply to them. European Data Protection Authorities, however, take the view that a company processes personal data if it uses data to single out a person, even if it cannot tie a name to these data. This paper argues that data protection law should indeed apply to behavioural targeting. Companies can often tie a name to nameless data about individuals. Furthermore, behavioural targeting relies on collecting information about individuals, singling out individuals, and targeting ads to individuals. Many privacy risks remain, regardless of whether companies tie a name to the information they hold about a person. A name is merely one of the identifiers that can be tied to data about a person, and it is not even the most practical identifier for behavioural targeting. Seeing data used to single out a person as personal data fits the rationale for data protection law: protecting fairness and privacy.


  • 18.02.2016

  • Bijdrage aan Rondetafelgesprek 11 februari 2016, Computercriminaliteit III, Vaste commissie voor Veiligheid en Justitie.


  • Het prinsesje onder de grondrechten Prof. mr. J.J.C. Kabel

    Privacy & Informatie,  2015-6, p. 215.



  • Annotatie bij Vzr. Rb. Den Haag 5 oktober 2015 en 6 november 2015 (Stichting Brein / Google).

    Bevel aan Google tot afgifte ex. art. 28 lid 9 Aw van persoons- en adresgegevens van de houder van een Google Play account vanwege onrechtmatige verkoop van e-books. Voorwaarde dat de houder op grond van art. 40 Wbp verzet kan aantekenen tegen die afgifte bij de verantwoordelijke (Google). Grondrechtenconflict bescherming van eigendom, vrijheid van meningsuiting en privacy.


  • In: Exploring Sensible Ways for Paying Copyright Owners?, R.M. Hilty & K.-C. Liu (eds.), Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer 2016, forthcoming.

    Copyright law is not primarily directed at consumers. Their interests are therefore only marginally accounted for, as the copyright rules exempt specific uses of works from the right holder’s control. This chapter examines the impact of digital technology on the position of consumers of licensed copyrighted content. While ownership of the physical embodiment of a work does not entail the ownership of the rights in the work, how does copyright law deal with ‘disembodied’ works? Whereas digital content is now commonly distributed on the basis of individual licensing schemes, what does it mean for consumers? Do they have a claim under consumer protection law against copyright owners for the impossibility to make a copy for private purposes, the lack of interoperability between devices, and the geo-blocking of their account?


  • This article examines the conditions under which a system of extended collective licensing (ECL) for the use of works contained in the collections of cultural heritage institutions (CHIs) participating in Europeana could function within a cross-border basis. ECL is understood as a form of collective rights management whereby the application of freely negotiated copyright licensing agreements between a user and a collective management organisation (“CMO”), is extended by law to non-members of the organisation. ECL regimes have already been put in place in a few Member States and so far, all have the ability to apply only on a national basis. This article proposes a mechanism that would allow works licensed under an ECL system in one territory of the European Union to be made available in all the territories of the Union. The proposal rests on the statutory recognition of the “country of origin” principle, as necessary and sufficient territory for the negotiation and application of an ECL solution for the rights clearance of works contained in the collection of a cultural heritage institution, including orphan works.


  • We use electronic communication networks for more than simply traditional telecommunications: we access the news, buy goods online, file our taxes, contribute to public debate, and more. As a result, a wider array of privacy interests is implicated for users of electronic communications networks and services. . This development calls into question the scope of electronic communications privacy rules. This paper analyses the scope of these rules, taking into account the rationale and the historic background of the European electronic communications privacy framework. We develop a framework for analysing the scope of electronic communications privacy rules using three approaches: (i) a service-centric approach, (ii) a data-centric approach, and (iii) a value-centric approach. We discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each approach. The current e-Privacy Directive contains a complex blend of the three approaches, which does not seem to be based on a thorough analysis of their strengths and weaknesses. The upcoming review of the directive announced by the European Commission provides an opportunity to improve the scoping of the rules.


  • In Europe, roughly three regimes apply to the liability of Internet intermediaries for privacy violations conducted by users through their network. These are: the e-Commerce Directive, which, under certain conditions, excludes them from liability; the Data Protection Directive, which imposes a number of duties and responsibilities on providers processing personal data; and the freedom of expression, contained inter alia in the ECHR, which, under certain conditions, grants Internet providers several privileges and freedoms. Each doctrine has its own field of application, but they also have partial overlap. In practice, this creates legal inequality and uncertainty, especially with regard to providers that host online platforms and process User Generated Content.


  • Conference Report, Strasbourg: Council of Europe, 2015, 24 pp.


  • In Finland is de belastinginformatie over burgers openbaar. Twee Finse bedrijven besluiten daar gebruik van te maken. Het ene publiceert delen van de informatie in een magazine, het andere runt een SMS-dienst, waarbij op naam informatie omtrent belastingen kan worden opgevraagd over derde personen. De vraag is of dit rechtmatig is. De nationale procedure is hieromtrent niet eenduidig. Er worden prejudiciële vragen gesteld aan het Hof van Justitie. Dit antwoordt dat de bedrijfsactiviteiten hebben te gelden als een verwerking van persoonsgegevens onder de Richtlijn bescherming persoonsgegevens, maar stelt tevens dat de bedrijven mogelijkerwijs een beroep kunnen doen op de in de richtlijn vervatte journalistieke exceptie. De Finse autoriteiten oordelen echter anders en wegen het recht op vrijheid van meningsuiting van de bedrijven tegen het recht op privacy van de burgers, waarbij het tweede belang zwaarder weegt. De bedrijven stappen naar het Europees Hof voor de Rechten van de Mens. Dat laat dit oordeel in stand.


  • Annotatie bij EHRM 13 oktober 2015 (Bremner / Turkije) Mr. A.W. Hins

    European Human Rights Cases,  2016-1, nr. 8, 


  • TNO-rapport 2015, R11271. Bijlage bij kamerbrief over toekomstbestendige wetgeving.

    Kader om beleidsopties ten aanzien van 'digitale platforms' te analyseren.


  • Les aléas du livre numérique aux Pays-Bas Mr. dr. L. Guibault

    Les Cahiers de Propriété Intellectuelle,  2015-3, p. 1199-1205.


  • In: S. Gutwirth et al. (eds.), Data Protection on the Move, Law, Governance and Technology Series 24, 2016.

    Human rights protect humans. This seemingly uncontroversial axiom might become quintessential over time, especially with regard to the right to privacy. Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights grants natural persons> a right to complain, in order to protect their individual interests, such as those related to personal freedom, human dignity and individual autonomy. With Big Data processes, however, individuals are mostly unaware that their personal data are gathered and processed and even if they are, they are often unable to substantiate their specific individual interest in these large data gathering systems. When the European Court of Human Rights assesses these types of cases, mostly revolving around (mass) surveillance activities, it finds itself stuck between the human rights framework on the one hand and the desire to evaluate surveillance practices by states on the other. Interestingly, the Court chooses to deal with these cases under Article 8 ECHR, but in order to do so, it is forced to go beyond the fundamental pillars of the human rights framework.


  • In: J.G. Gaedertz, M. Martinek & S. Ory (eds.), Handbuch Mediaagenturen - Aufgabenfelder, Geschäftsmodelle, Vertrags- und Wettbewerbsrecht / Handbook Media Agencies - Activities, Business Models, Contract Law and Competition Law, C.H. Beck 2015


  • Al decennia kent Nederland wetgeving op het gebied van de openbaarheid van informatie. Deze regels hebben ten doel overheidsmacht transparant en democratische controle mogelijk te maken. Onlangs is nieuwe regelgeving aangenomen door de Eerste Kamer. De Wet hergebruik overheidsinformatie ziet tevens op openbaarheid van overheidsinformatie, maar kent een fundamenteel ander doel dan voorgaande wetgeving. Niet de democratie of de controle op de macht staat centraal, maar de commerciële exploitatie van overheidsinformatie door private ondernemingen. Dit brengt met zich dat de wetgeving een fundamenteel ander karakter krijgt, dat de overheid gegevens over burgers aan derden geeft zonder te weten waarvoor deze worden gebruikt en dat het sociaal contract tussen overheid en burger onder druk komt te staan.


  • 15.12.2015

  • Opinie op NJB blog, 9 december 2015.

    In Nederland is tot dusver in het politieke debat over het noodzakelijke onafhankelijke toezicht op de inlichtingen en veiligheidsdiensten het Europese recht genegeerd of verkeerd uitgelegd. Met het Europese recht bedoelen wij zowel het EU Handvest als het Europees Verdrag voor de Rechten van de Mens. Dat is op grond van meerdere rechterlijke uitspraken niet langer mogelijk. 


  • Kroniek Telecommunicatierecht Prof. dr. N.A.N.M. van Eijk

    KwartaalSignaal Ars Aequi,  2015-137, p. 7949-7950.


  • Kroniek Mediarecht Mr. J.M. Breemen , Mr. V.E. Breemen ,

    KwartaalSignaal Ars Aequi,  2015-137, p. 7947-7949.


  • Open data are held to contribute to a wide variety of social and political goals, including strengthening transparency, public participation and democratic accountability, promoting economic growth and innovation, and enabling greater public sector efficiency and cost savings. However, releasing government data that contain personal information may threaten privacy and related rights and interests. In this paper we ask how these privacy interests can be respected, without unduly hampering benefits from disclosing public sector information. We propose a balancing framework to help public authorities address this question in different contexts. The framework takes into account different levels of privacy risks for different types of data. It also separates decisions about access and re-use, and highlights a range of different disclosure routes. A circumstance catalogue lists factors that might be considered when assessing whether, under which conditions, and how a dataset can be released. While open data remains an important route for the publication of government information, we conclude that it is not the only route, and there must be clear and robust public interest arguments in order to justify the disclosure of personal information as open data.


  • Russia's new anti-piracy law: A critical analysis S.V. Yakovleva

    European Intellectual Property Review,  2015-9, p. 608-613.

    This article analyses Russia's  new anti-piracy law aimed at improving online enforcement of copyright and related rights. The article places the new developments in the context of the prior intellctual property rights enforcement regime and Russia's international and constitutional obligations to secure the right to freedom of expression. The author discusses and critically assesses the most important changes introduced by the new law, and draws conclusions about their correlation with freedom of expression, overall effectiveness and the impact on right holders, internet users and the internet industry.


  • European Commission's progress reports on digitisation of the European cultural (and film) heritage S.V. Yakovleva

    Cahiers de la documentation - Bladen voor documentatie,  2015-3, p. 74-77.

    Dit artikel maakt een synthese van twee voortgangsrapporten van de Europese Commissie in het domein van het digitale behoud van het Europees cultureel (en filmografisch) erfgoed. Het eerste rapport herziet en evalueert de vooruitgang van de digitalisering van het cultureel erfgoed die verliep tussen 2011 en 2013 volgende op de goedkeuring in 2011 van de Aanbeveling (van de Europese Commissie) betreffende de digitalisering en online toegankelijkheid van cultureel materiaal en digitale bewaring. Het tweede rapport geeft gevolg aan de Aanbeveling van het Europees Parlement over het cinematografisch erfgoed. Het concentreert zich op de vooruitgang, de uitdagingen en risico's die men tegenkomt gedurende het digitaliseringsproces van het cinematografisch erfgoed in 2012-2013. Zelfs indien de twee rapporten anntonen dat een zekere vooruitgang gerealiseerd werd in de betreffende domeinen, geven zij ook toe dat deze vooruitgang zeer beperkt was en dat de digitalisering een uitdaging blijft.


  • De toenemende invloed van het Handvest op het recht van intellectuele eigendom Mr. Chr. A. Alberdingk Thijm & mr. C. de Vries,

    Berichten Industriële Eigendom,  2015-68, p. 174-183.


  • Study commissioned by the Council of Europe, Amsterdam/Edinburgh/Tirana, August 2015.


  • 05.11.2015

  • Column in Het Financieele Dagblad van 4 november 2015.


  • This paper discusses the regulation of mass metadata surveillance in Europe through the lens of the landmark judgment in which the Court of Justice of the European Union struck down the Data Retention Directive. The controversial directive obliged telecom and Internet access providers in Europe to retain metadata of all their customers for intelligence and law enforcement purposes, for a period of up to two years. In the ruling, the Court declared the directive in violation of the human rights to privacy and data protection. The Court also confirmed that the mere collection of metadata interferes with the human right to privacy. In addition, the Court developed three new criteria for assessing the level of data security required from a human rights perspective: security measures should take into account the risk of unlawful access to data, and the data’s quantity and sensitivity. While organizations that campaigned against the directive have welcomed the ruling, we warn for the risk of proceduralization of mass surveillance law. The Court did not fully condemn mass surveillance that relies on metadata, but left open the possibility of mass surveillance if policymakers lay down sufficient procedural safeguards. Such proceduralization brings systematic risks for human rights. Government agencies, with ample resources, can design complicated systems of procedural oversight for mass surveillance – and claim that mass surveillance is lawful, even if it affects millions of innocent people.


  • Comment in Internet Policy Review, 23 October 2015.


  • Positive obligations concerning freedom of expression: mere potential or real power? Dr. T. McGonagle

    Chapter in: Journalism at risk: Threats, challenges and perspectives, O. Andreotti (ed.), Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishing 2015, p. 9-35.

    This chapter examines how the European Court of Human Rights has identified and developed a range of positive State obligations to secure the right to freedom of expression.  It first briefly examines the theoretical and normative bases for the positive obligations doctrine and then traces its hesitant development in the case-law of the Court. Next, it shows how the Court has slowly become more comfortable with the doctrine and more confident when applying it to cases involving freedom of expression, culminating in its Dink v. Turkey judgment. The driving argument of the chapter is that the positive obligations doctrine has enormous potential for strengthening the right to freedom of expression and that the Court must now tease out its implications in concrete cases in a very scrupulous way, if the doctrine’s full potential is to be realised.


  • Freedom of Expression, the Media and Journalists: Case-law of the European Court of Human Rights D. Voorhoof, Dr. T. McGonagle

    IRIS Themes,   nr. III, Strasbourg: European Audiovisual Observatory 2015, 409 pp.

    New, updated version.

    This e-book provides valuable insights into the European Court of Human Rights’ case-law on freedom of expression and media and journalistic freedoms. The first edition of the e-book (2013) proved hugely successful, with 18,671 downloads in 2014 alone. The new updated edition summarises over 240 judgments or decisions by the Court and provides hyperlinks to the full text of each of the summarised judgments or decisions (via HUDOC, the Court's online case-law database). The e-book is also available in French.
    For an optimal navigational experience, one should download the e-book and read the technical tips on p. 3.


  • Final report of HERMES project lead by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schulz (Hans-Bredow-Institut for Media Research) and Prof. Dr. Nico van Eijk (Institute for Information Law), Hamburg/Amsterdam, October 2015.

    The study on the future of European audiovsiual media regulation develops new ideas and recommendations for shaping a new European framework. A structural reform is favoured, as a response to digitization and convergence. The new framework should concentrate on general principles and be able to adapt and learn. Regulation should not be linked to types of services, but rather be developed by considering its goals, like protection of minors and consumer protection. Standards should be set allowing for effective regulation and coordination. Moreover by taking a 360-degree view on all relevant areas of regulation, it needs to become visible, where the European Law can offer leeway for to the member states’ own media policy.
    The study called HERMES draws a precise image of current media consumption and value-added chains by examining several EU member states, as well as certain international states. The developments of the last years are being examined and current phenomena are explored. The centre of attention is the shift away from regular TV to non-linear media and the consumption via alternative channels as well as via new devices, which were not yet taken into account when shaping the present framework. The outcomes are analysed and put into practical guidelines for the near future.


  • Amsterdam/Cambridge, 2015.

    The EU-US Privacy Bridges project is co-chaired by Nico van Eijk and Daniel J. Weitzner.
    See report for full list of project participants and see EU-US Privacy Bridges project page for more information about the project.

    The EU and US share a common commitment to privacy protection as a cornerstone of democracy. Following the Treaty of Lisbon, data privacy is a fundamental right that the European Union must proactively guarantee. In the United States, data privacy derives from constitutional protections in the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendment as well as federal and state statute, consumer protection law and common law. The ultimate goal of effective privacy protection is shared. However, current friction between the two legal systems poses challenges to realizing privacy and the free flow of information across the Atlantic. Recent expansion of online surveillance practices underline these challenges.
    Over nine months, the group prepared a consensus report outlining a menu of privacy “bridges” that can be built to bring the European Union and the United States closer together. The efforts are aimed at providing a framework of practical options that advance strong, globally-accepted privacy values in a manner that respects the substantive and procedural differences between the two jurisdictions.
    The report will be presented at the 2015 International Conference of Privacy and Data Protection Commissioners, which the Dutch Data Protection Authority will host in Amsterdam on 28-29 October 2015.


  • 20.10.2015

  • Back to Black: Mr. dr. A. Tsoutsanis

    Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice,  2015-10, p. 725.


    This short - peer reviewed - article touches on innovation in China in the field of smart phones, recent legislative reform in China for fostering intellectual property and combating counterfeit and trade mark grabbing. It also touches on human rights in China, the different approach in which the West advances its economic v human rights agenda and the selective way Silicon Valley industry participates in grass roots debate on civil liberties. The article also touches on the 'right to seek counsel' as one of the fundamental rights, which many arrested lawyers in China were deprived of during the July 2015 arrests.


  • Video series produced by the Council of Europe, The Hows and Whys: Freedom of Expression, a Human Right, October 2015.

    This is one of seven videos about different aspects of the right to freedom of expression: hate speech, protection of sources, defamation, access to information, terrorism, Internet freedom and new opportunities and challenges for freedom of expression. The videos were produced  by the Council of Europe and they take the form of interviews with leading experts in the field, including three sitting judges of the European Court of Human Rights, a former Vice-President of the Court and the Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner.


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