Bilyana Petkova, ‘Privacy as Europe’s First Amendment’

The protection of universal principles varies across jurisdictions: the prominence of free speech in the United States is undisputed. My argument is that the First Amendment took off only during the New Deal and later, the Civil Rights revolution as an identity‐formation and unifying tool in a deeply divided society. The symbolic significance of free speech in the US remains central to this day. In the midst of its identity crisis with looming Brexit, Europe is now experimenting with privacy‐as‐constitutional identity in a similar way. This article seeks to unpack the values encompassed in privacy and freedom of speech, looking into the different functional responses that two different democratic societies place their bets on. As data protection and privacy come to a clash with important trade and security interests in an evermore‐globalized world, the power of the outward‐oriented European privacy discourse is likely to remain above all rhetorical.

Bilyana Petkova, Privacy as Europe’s First Amendment. European Law Journal. First published: 11 April 2019.

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