INFOSOC (Autumn) Research Seminar Series 2018

The INFOSOC seminar series, a project of the Bournemouth University Law Department, is underway. The informative talks available are listed below:

Telematics insurance and the duty of data portability

7 November 2018, 3pm, CG13

Freyja Van Den Boom

Telematics insurance is an example of the impact of Big Data on insurance practices, where through a telematics device, vehicles record user data for more accurate risk assessments and monitoring. As vehicles get more and more connected, this data can be exchanged between the vehicle and the OEM, other road users, suppliers and third parties. Both vehicle data processing and V2X communications causes legal challenges and uncertainty with respect to data protection and innovation.

The topic of this paper is one such issue relevant for insurance namely article 20 of the General Data Protection Directive (GDPR) the right to data portability in the context of the duty to disclose information. With more data being collected and made available to insurers by other means than provided directly and knowingly by the consumer, how does this influence the underlying assumption of information asymmetry and subsequently the doctrine of utmost good faith that aims to alleviate this asymmetry by proposing a duty on the insured to disclose material facts to the insurer? To what extent does the availability and access to personal telematics data influence the duty of reasonable care to avoid misrepresentation in UK consumer insurance contacts?

Youth Court Sentencing Communication

14 November 2018, 2pm, CG13

Dr Max Lowenstein

Informational Rights: Judges are duty bound to give reasons for, and explain the effect of their sentence to the offender

Informational Wrongs: The sources, principles and engagement practices of judges managing their sentence explanationsto young offenders in the youth court.

EU and US privacy law running on a collision course: Is there anything like a ‘right to be forgotten’ and can lessons be learnt from Google Spain v. AEPD and González?

21 November 2018, 2pm, CG13

Luke Nwibo Eda

The increasing use of modern communication technologies in the commerical and public sectors us constituting a threat to privacy and data protection today. A citizen who whispers in the closet-I want to be forgotten-is often appalled to hear his faint voice reverberate loud from the house-tops- I want to be remebered. Such harsh realities raise seruous legal and policy questions about internet governance and how personal data are collected, stored, processed and distibuted across many public and commercial databases. The ‘right to be forgotten’ answers a part of the question by recognizing that individuals have a right to take back ownership of the information about their past from search engine companies.

The ECJ’s 2014 historic decision in Google Spain v. AEPD and González required search-engine companies like Google, to remove from public view links to web pages that displays personal information, in particular, where the search results are ‘inaccurate, inadequate, irrelevant or excessive’ and the individuals right to privacy outweighs the benefit to the public intterest. The decision demonstrates EU Law’s preference for privacy over free speech.

On the contrary, the United State Court of Appeals decision in Martin v. Hearst Corporation refusing to recognize a ‘right to be forgotten’ demonstrates the preference of free speech over privacy in the US, leaving Americans wondering if there will ever be a right to be forgotten in the United States. The position in the US may be justified by the need to uphold values of free expression as it is at the heart of the American democratic system while the position in the EU tilts towards greater respect for privacy and harm reduction. Privacy law in both jurisdictions appears then, to be at loggerheads and running on a collision course.

The paper asks if indeed there should have been anything like a ‘right to be forgotten’ in the first place given the muddled and careless way in which the ECJ handed down the González decision and if there is, what lessons can be learnt from that decision for the future of privacy law in the EU and US. The paper argues that in order to reconcile the conflicting principles in Europe and America, the first step is to understand the nature, character and content of that which was remembered before anything was to be forgotten and how it affects the reputation, historical integrity and accountability of the individual vis-a-vis benefit to the legitimate public interest.

The Adopted Person and their Information: Perspectives on Informational Rights and Wrongs

5 December 2018, 2pm, CG13

Dr Gaye Orr and Dr Amanda Wilding Pinkney

There has long been an accepted practice in England and Wales whereby children whose parents are no longer able to care for their birth children are relinquished or taken into the care of a Local Authority, ‘freed’ for adoption by the Family Court, cared for by foster carers and potentially adopted through a formal process by adoptive parents. The amount of information about the child and its family shared by local authorities with prospective adoptive parents through the adoption process may vary considerably. In some instances harm is alleged to have been caused to a family by a failure to provide relevant information (W v Essex 2000). Such cases raise many issues about operational procedures and social worker decisions in relation to the type and amount of information that is or can be shared. For adopted individuals, issues may arise by not knowing their family heritage including medical and genetic history, particularly in relation to inherited conditions that can lead to life changing illnesses or developments.

Now that DNA testing is more widely possible albeit with a cost, and issues regarding ownership and privacy, adopted individuals may feel that they have a right to know whether they may develop a condition, and or whether they are a carrier. At the same time, there is the arguement that shariing suvh information during the adoption process may lead to some chuldren no being adopted because of prospective adoptive parent anxieties about the future potential challenges.

This paper considers such issues from different perspectives; first from that of the adopted child, now mother (a carrier), of child with an inherited disabling condition; secondly by those in practice either as social workers or as clinical geneticists. The paper then charts ethical considerations and informational rights and wrongs (including the possibility of ‘wrongful births’), of sharing and not sharing DNA related data, and whether the law can help.

12 December 2018, 2pm, CG13

Dr Sally Weston