Data protection and the role of fairness

Damian Clifford, Jef Ausloos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this article is to examine the principle of fairness as it appears in EU data protection law. Despite the fact that this principle is often referred to as a key tenet of the data protection framework, a precise understanding of its role remains elusive. As such, this article aims to provide the first steps towards a more thorough understanding of the fairness principle. This is significant as it is argued that fairness is delineated from the other data protection principles and thus this article aims to clarify its overarching role and importance in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The article divides the fairness principle into procedural fairness and fair balancing elements which are evident in the fairness checks and balances in the GDPR. Building on this analysis the article identifies gaps, shortcomings and areas for future research thus calling for further analysis on the precise contours of the fairness principle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-187
Number of pages58
JournalYearbook of European Law
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


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