Baas over eigen data Zelfbeschikking in bescherming van persoonsgegevens

Petrus Jacobus Cornelis Olsthoorn

Research output: PhD ThesisPhD-Thesis - Research and graduation internal

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Self-determination in controlling your personal data The central theme of this dissertation is self-determination, or our individual control over the processing of our personal data and the protection of our privacy. The hypothesis is that the inadequate legal privacy protection can be improved with the help of business and technology principles and initiatives, with legal support (business-technology-legal or btl). The focus is on this triangle, based on the continuous human weighing up of advantages and disadvantages in a 'privacy market'. This approach is partly based on the theory of legal philosopher Richard Posner who viewed privacy from the perspective of individual and social costs and benefits. The main question is how individuals can obtain meaningful control over their personal data, on the one hand in markets in which they acquire valuable services in exchange for making these data available, and on the other in contexts in which data are exchanged for collective, social purposes. Self-determination over personal data is researched theoretically from a variety of perspectives: legal-historical and new legislation (Chapter 2); the right to be forgotten and reputation (Chapter 3); possible ownership over data (Chapter 4); in exchange for attention (Chapter 5); in possible trade in data (Chapter 6); and in behavioural research on data protection (Chapter 7). Individuals, it turns out, use self-determination over their personal data and privacy for optimal benefit, rather than for protection in principle; while there is also 'self-infringement', a hitherto legally unrecognised phenomenon. Traditional media also contribute to the invasion of privacy. The current 'payment' of indispensable digital services with personal data from self-determination appears to offer little protection as a result of an insufficient balance of power in the market in which consumers make themselves dependent on dominant companies. All this forms the starting point for extensive practical research into the ideological, operational-technical, economic and legal aspects of offering new systems, concepts and services for personal data management (pdm) in order to improve the self-determination of personal data (Chapter 8).Separate attention is paid to self-determination over personal data in the Netherlands in the medical sector (MedMij), finance (under PSD2 legislation), and governments (Chapter 9). The conclusion is that personal data management does not yet lead, or hardly leads to more meaningful self-determination, barring exceptions. Further research is necessary into the precise interaction of business, technological and legal conditions under which personal data management may nevertheless be feasible. All the more so if the starting point is the benefit for the individual and society, for example for an adequate digital management of personal life and collective yield via cooperative communities, under the control of algorithms.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Lodder, Arno R., Supervisor
  • Zwenne, Gerrit-Jan, Supervisor, -
  • van der Linden, Tina, Co-supervisor
Award date23 Sept 2021
Place of PublicationDen Haag
Publication statusPublished - 23 Sept 2021


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