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Maurizio Borghi “Data portability and regulation of digital markets”

Working Paper No. 02-2019

September 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

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