Working Paper No. 02-2019
The new General Data Protection Regulation introduced the “right to portability of personal data”. Conceived to give effectiveness to individual interests, the regulation is at the same time a pro-competitive tool with important regulatory effects on digital markets. As a result of the extensive interpretation of “personal data” that has been consolidated in European law, the right to portability actually applies to a wide range of data, thereby overlapping and conflicting with a range of diverse interests. If the application of the right raises questions about the balancing of those interests, its effectiveness as a regulatory instrument depends strongly on the structure of the markets. The paper argues that the pro-competitive effect of portability is more pronounced in markets with common data processing systems, while it is more uncertain in the absence of shared interoperable standards.
Keywords: GDPR, data protection, interoperability, lock-in, barriers to entry, Digital Single Market