Author:Lucie Guibault - Karin Sein
Lucie Guibault and Karin Sein
by Lucie Guibault and Karin Sein
© 2018 Lucie Guibault and Karin Sein
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Recommended citation: Lucie Guib ault and Karin Sein, Editorial, 9 (2018) JIPITEC 1 p ara 1.
In the wake of the recent Cambridge Analytica
scandal and in the midst of the controversy around
the European copyright reform, our fresh Spring
number will delight readers for its varied and in-
depth coverage of many of the hot topics in the
contemporary digital legal discourse. Variety is also
present in relation to scientic methods, as several
articles use inter-disciplinary approach, combining
traditional legal analysis with the application of
empirical methods, behavioral economics and
What the 2013 Snowden affair was to the covert
massive online surveillance of citizens by secret
government services, are the 2018 Cambridge
Analytica revelations to the manipulation of social
media proles for political campaigning purposes.
Both represent a major breakdown in the way
governments and private entities ought to deal
with personal data. The consequences of Cambridge
Analytica’s operations are enormous: Trump and
Brexit! The fact that the data consulting rm was
located on UK territory while engaging in dubious
activities is all the more disconcerting, as one would
think that the rm was bound by the European norms
of protection of personal data. Or is it that these
norms, including the newly implemented General
Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), are incapable
of preventing this type of malicious activities?
Probably. In reality, the citizen’s naivety and trust
are blatantly misused on all sides. The Snowden and
Cambridge Analytica affairs show once more that a
regulatory system based on the notion of consent
to the collection and processing of an individual’s
personal data leaves gaping holes in the protection.
The two rst articles in this issue propose other
ways to look at the problem of data protection,
i.e. through an increase in transparency of the
algorithmic decision-making process and through
greater empowerment of data subjects before
disclosure of personal data. On the rst point, Guido
Noto La Diega speaks against the exclusive automated
decision-making and presents three legal routes –
intellectual property law, data protection law and
the access right under the freedom of information
regime – that would help to ‘open up’ the algorithms.
From these three routes the GDPR rules seem to
be the most promising for the affected persons,
although much is still depending on the national
implementation measures. He concludes that only an
integrated approach combining elements of all these
three routes would be able to provide the affected
person with an effective remedy.
4 On the second point, Santiago Ramírez López explores
the possibilities to learn from the behavioral
economics and Kahneman’s theory on thinking fast
and slow in order to empower the data subjects. He
proceeds from the assumption that while Western
traditions embrace the concept of control of the data
subjects as the main guideline of data protection,
the reality of the online world has shown that
the informed content model has failed to provide
such control. He analyzes alternative methods of
providing user-friendly information online, mainly
using the example of the Human Readable layer of
the Creative Commons license and also considers it
necessary to establish guidelines for such icon-based
information model.

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