CITIZEN OR CONSUMER? THE RIGHT TO DATA ACCESS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION AND AUSTRALIA
Keywords: data access, digital rights, privacy law, social media platforms
AbstractThis paper presents early stage findings from a research project that explores whether the provision of data access addresses concerns that have emerged with regards to data collection by private and public actors. Using the recent right to data access secured by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as a point of departure, I examine Facebook and Twitter’s response to these regulations through the lens of their data access policies and processes. I analyse what sort of data is made available and assess what benefit the public gains from having access to their social media data. I then offer a conceptual intervention through a comparative analysis of the divergent approaches two jurisdictions take to data access. I compare the GDPR with an ongoing debate around the introduction of a consumer data access right into Australian law and analyse how these divergent legal traditions and public discourses alter the conceptualisation and enacting of the data access right (and digital rights more generally). This paper provides a timely examination of a right that has emerged in response to the increased datafication of society. As well as offering a detailed analysis of how social media platforms have responded to the data access provisions within the GDPR, the comparative analysis of the EU and Australia shows that significantly different legal foundations can animate this right, ultimately presenting two starkly different visions of internet users as either consumers or citizens.
How to Cite
Meese, J. M. (2018). CITIZEN OR CONSUMER? THE RIGHT TO DATA ACCESS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION AND AUSTRALIA. AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research, 2018. https://doi.org/10.5210/spir.v2018i0.10495