Data protection laws are currently spreading across the globe, but they are often proposed and enacted without much consideration of their definitions of privacy and the human values that they support. A complete consideration of “data protection and privacy in transitional times” requires us to reconsider why privacy and data protection rules exist, what values they serve, and what they should look like in the future. This panel beings together leading European and American academic and regulatory experts to ask these hard and essential questions of privacy and data protection law. Using the argument in Neil Richards’ recently published Why Privacy Matters (OUP 2022) as an initial starting point, the panel (and audience) will discuss the big questions of what privacy and data protection law is, what it is trying to achieve, and where it falls short.
• Why do privacy and data protection matter? What values do they serve?
• What is the relationship between privacy and data protection rules and identity formation, political freedom, and consumer protection?
• How should our understandings of privacy and data protection change as we confront new problems like public health emergencies, artificial intelligence, and pervasive data collection and computing?
• Is a shared understanding of what privacy is and why it matters possible across the different legal systems on both sides of the Atlantic?