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Online platforms, big data and privacy: What role for competition policy?
23/06/2016 13:00 - 18:00
SMIT Offices - 1st floor , Pleinlaan 9 1050 Brussels
The growing size and scope of (personal) data collected and used by powerful online platforms has been raising concerns about potential harm to privacy and competition.
 
While some commentators and policymakers recognize that competition policy has an integral role to play in maintaining a level playing field in the Big Data digital economy, others argue that competition authorities must proceed with caution because the anti-competitive effects of data-driven strategies are not (yet) supported by real-world evidence.
 
The question whether privacy considerations should be considered in the framework of data-driven mergers or antitrust enforcement is similarly controversial. Initially, the debate about the intersection between competition and data protection was mostly theoretical. In March 2016, however, the German competition authority opened a formal antitrust investigation on the suspicion that Facebook abused its market power by infringing data protection rules.
 
This symposium, which brings together an interdisciplinary combination of academics, practitioners, policymakers and stakeholder representatives, will draw upon the latest developments and empirical insights to discuss the role of competition policy in addressing privacy and anti-competitive concerns posed by the acquisition and use of big data by online platforms.
 
Since places are limited, registration is required. For more details, see ‘practical information’.