Surveillance with non-purpose built technology: Challenges for the protection of the right to privacy in the European Union

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The new and advanced technology that we possess and use is constantly collecting data about our daily activities. The employment of this technology by law enforcement authorities for surveillance purposes makes such an activity ubiquitous, raises questions of proportionality, and challenges the protection of the right to privacy of the individuals. This thesis explores the existing legal framework established for safeguarding the right to privacy in the European Union and it assesses its adequacy for dealing with the challenges that the law enforcement use for surveillance of technology not originally designed for that purpose presents.
Finding that the current legal framework is inadequate for protecting the right to privacy of the individuals when non-purpose built technology is used for their surveillance, the thesis also identifies a number of legal principles which are proposed to be used for bridging the current disconnection between the legal rules and technology. This has as a result that the technology neutrality of the legal rules is balanced by the technology awareness of all other relevant actors. The thesis argues that while technology might escape the legal rules, it is still possible that the way technology is used by law enforcement complies with the fundamental right to privacy.
Translated title of the contributionSurveillance met niet oorspronkelijk daarvoor ontwikkelde technologie
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
  • Mifsud Bonnici, Jeanne, Supervisor
  • Klingenberg, Aline, Co-supervisor
Award date7-Sep-2017
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Print ISBNs978-94-034-0058-7
Electronic ISBNs978-94-034-0057-0
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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