19 Apr 2017
[Lecture] Privacy and Cyber Laws: A View from the Court of Justice of the European Union

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will start to apply on 25 May 2018, constituting the European Union’s latest data privacy standard. As a regulation, the GDPR aims to impose a more uniform data protection regime across the Member States, further clarifying the extent of its jurisdictional reach. One of the clauses of GDPR has drawn particular attention, namely the "right to be forgotten" (RTBF).

Providing perceptive insights into the Salvatore Manni case, in which the Court considered RTBF could not apply to personal data in the companies register – with the exception of certain circumstances for limitations to be imposed on public access, Judge Christopher Vajda (Court of Justice of the EU) took the audience through the case as well as explicated the jurisprudence on this much-debated issue.

Judge Vajda’s exposition was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Prof Teresa Cheng, (Chairman of Asian Academy of International Law) and joined by Ms Sandra Liu (Senior Legal Counsel, Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, HKSAR). Taking the developments in privacy protection and data retention as a point of departure, the panel proceeded to discuss other issues such as the legality of systematically retaining internet data and the transmission of data to their countries where protections are lower than those in the EU.

The lecture and panel discussion were very well received by the audience that was composed of law practitioners, in-house legal counsel, government and judiciary officials, academics, as well as senior business leaders. Positive comments made by the audience mainly rested on the timeliness and relevancy of this course as RTBF is a very current issue that has sparked high-profile debates in different parts of the world.