Balancing Privacy and Data Protection: An Introductory Look at Conflicting Constitutional Interests

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Abstract of the research.

The question of privacy and data protection has become a pivotal concern for those examining the long-term sustainability of European digital policies. Balancing privacy and data protection as fundamental rights presents not only theoretical challenges but also practical implications that shape the interpretation and enforcement of digital policies. The European Charter of Fundamental Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights establish a general limitation to the protection of fundamental rights, thus requiring a delicate balancing act among various constitutional interests to safeguard the essence of these rights. Even if the meeting of privacy and data protection with other constitutional rights cannot be addressed by adopting an absolute approach, this constitutional framework has not pre-empted European institutions from extending the scope of privacy and data protection. This paper introduces the analysis of three cases underlining the relevance of proportionality in the conflicts between privacy and data protection and other constitutional interests in the digital age. Then, the paper addresses the challenges raised by the tendency towards enforcing, and protecting, privacy and data protection without carefully balancing the protection of these fundamental rights with other rights and freedoms in Europe.

 

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Católica Global School of Law, Lisbon.

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