Data Producer's Right and the Protection of Machine-Generated Data
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In October 2017, the European Commission advanced a proposal for the creation of a new data producer's right for non-personal, anonymized machine-generated data. Driven in large part by the automotive industry, this proposal has thus far attracted considerable criticisms. While commentators have questioned whether the proposed right is needed in the first place, the EU proposal has also generated more questions than answers. Written for a special issue on the "Legal Implications of the Platform Economy," this essay begins by revisiting the debate on sui generis database protection in both the Europe Union and the United States. It then discusses the many difficult policy questions that policymakers will have to address before they can create the new right. The essay concludes by examining four additional complications that may make it difficult to develop a coherent body of laws to govern the emerging and fast-changing data economy.
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