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Balancing Business Innovation with Data Protection? Regulating the Digital Age

26th January 2015 @ 2:00 pm - 5:40 pm


First Technology Regulation Workshop

In recent years, there has been a rapid proliferation of a diverse range of information communication technologies, such as online social networking sites, cloud computing technologies, and, messaging applications. Hardly a day goes by without a new information communication technology being rolled out. As the world of Snapchat, Amazon Web Services, and the likes become firmly entrenched in modern society, new questions are being raised by regulators, scholars, and technologists about the risks such information communication technologies pose to the protection of ‘personal data.’ By ‘personal data’, we mean any information which relates to an individual, who is or can be identified from the data, such as an individual’s internet protocol address, cookies, characteristics or electronic mail address.

The challenges which information communication technologies pose to the protection of personal data have been one of the major drivers for reforming the regulation of personal data, including the current reform of the EU data protection package. How to strike a balance between the protection of personal data and the promotion of the European Union as a world leader in the digital economy is at the heart of the current European reform exercise. For example, the recent ruling of the European Court of Justice in the Google Spain case has raised perplexing, pressing, and practical questions about how companies, such as Google, will deal with the additional regulatory burdens which are now placed on them whilst continuing to drive innovation in the field of information communication technologies. Google reportedly received over 12,000 requests from individuals to remove information relating to them from the results of Google search engine within 24 hours of the Google Spain ruling.

This workshop will investigate whether it is possible for regulators and companies to strike a balance between business innovation and data protection in the Digital Age. This and many more questions will be explored during this workshop by academics, regulators, and practitioners from a range of disciplinary perspectives.

  1. What are the major patterns of data use in the digital advertising economy and what are the implications of these for regulation?
  2. In what ways can the so-called ‘co-regulation model’ empower and protect consumers?
  3. Is ‘co-regulation’ a viable option or will it lead to regulatory capture?
  4. Can privacy-enhancing technologies improve the accountability and transparency of companies’ practices in the context of self-regulation?


14:00 – 14:10

Opening remarks from the co-convenor of the Regulation Discussion Group

Dr Bettina Lange

Associate Professor in Law and Regulation

Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford


14:10- 14:40

Transborder Data Flow in Competing Regulatory Frameworks: The EU Perspective

Dr Christopher Kuner

Associate Professor, University of Copenhag



Regulation by Privacy Seals and Certification

Steve Wood, Head of Policy Delivery


Review of the Practices of Self-Regulation in Digital Advertising in the UK: Innovation and Data Use

Nick Stringer, Director of Regulatory Affairs

UK Internet Advertising Bureau

Reflecting on the distinction between data processors and data controllers: a view from practice

Ronnie Preiskel, Partner

Preiskel & Co LLP

15:40 -16:00

Panel discussion

Moderator: Dr Bettina Lange

16:00 -16:20      Coffee break


16:20 -17:20

Data Sovereignty, Data Flow, and International Jurisdiction in Cloud Computing

Christopher Millard, Professor of Privacy and Information Law

Queen Mary, University of London

Net Neutrality and Personal Data Protection: Towards a Co-regulatory Solution

Christopher T. Marsden, Professor of Internet and Media Law

University of Sussex

Cloud Computing: Technical Protections and Directions

Dr Jatinder Singh, Senior Research Associate Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge 


Panel discussion

Moderator: Dr Asma Vranaki, Post-Doctoral Researcher in Cloud Computing, Queen Mary, University of London


Organising Committee

Dr Bettina Lange, Associate Professor in Law & Regulation (University of Oxford)

Dr Asma Vranaki, Post-Doctoral Researcher in Cloud Computing (QMUL)

Janet Hui Xue, PhD Candidate in Internet Regulation (Macquarie University)

We gratefully acknowledge the contributions of Macquarie University and the Oxford Regulation Discussion Group for this workshop.

For further details, please email Dr Asma Vranaki at asma.vranaki@qmul.ac.uk




26th January 2015
2:00 pm - 5:40 pm
Event Category:


Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Haldane Room, Wolfson College
Oxford, United Kingdom + Google Map