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Legal Standards for Online Social Networks: Case Study of Data Interoperability.

Social network sites (SNS), such as Facebook, Google+, Netlog, Hyves, Bebo, LinkedIn and Twitter, have captured the attention of millions of users as well as billions of dollars in investment and acquisition. They make use of participatory and collaborative online technologies (also referred to as web 2.0) that transform the way in which individuals interact. An issue that has received growing attention in the context of SNS is their open or closed character, and the ability of users to move or transfer their information when switching between SNS providers. This is referred to as data portability. Data portability has received growing attention lately from policy makers, academics and industry actors. Recent discussions have culminated in the proposed introduction in EU legislation on personal data protection of a new legal right to data portability, in close connection with another newly proposed right to be forgotten and to erasure (Articles 17 and 18 Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data General Data Protection Regulation; European Commission, 2012b). The project will study the legal, economic and social arguments that are put forward to justify a right to data portability, and analyse the implications thereof for traditional legal norms in the context of mass media. A transversal legal analysis from a human rights perspective will focus on the following research questions: firstly, to what extent is data portability to be endorsed in the light of freedom of expression and related normative goals (specifically focusing on the protection of minors and the promotion of media pluralism), and secondly, what is the role of law in implementing (limits to) data portability?
Date:1 Oct 2012 →  30 Sep 2017
Keywords:Social networks, Data interoperability, Online