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General Issue

Is There a Better Option than the Data Transfer Model to Protect Data Privacy?

Author

Alan Toy and Gehan Gunasekara

The data transfer model and the accountability model, which are the dominant models for protecting the data privacy rights of citizens, have begun to present significant difficulties in regulating the online and increasingly transnational business environment. Global organisations take advantage of forum selection clauses and choice of law clauses and attention is diverted toward the data transfer model and the accountability model as a means of data privacy protection but it is impossible to have confidence that the data privacy rights of citizens are adequately protected given well known revelations regarding surveillance and the rise of technologies such as cloud computing. But forum selection and choice of law clauses no longer have the force they once seemed to have and this opens the possibility that extraterritorial jurisdiction may provide a supplementary conceptual basis for championing data privacy in the globalised context of the Internet. This article examines the current basis for extraterritorial application of data privacy laws and suggests a test for increasing their relevance.

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