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Personal Data Rights in the Era of Big Data

Social Sciences in China

Vol. 40, No. 3, 2019

 

Personal Data Rights in the Era of Big Data

(Abstract)

 

Cheng Xiao

 

Personal data rights in the era of big data involve coordination of the protection of civil rights and interests of natural persons on the one hand and the freedom of data companies’ data activities on the other. Personal data can be the object of civil rights and as such should be regulated and protected through the system of private rights. The right of natural persons to personal data is aimed at protecting their self-determination interests in relation to those data and thus preventing the infringement of existing personal and property rights due to the illegal collection and use of personal data. Unlike real right, the right of natural persons to personal data is not an absolute right that can be positively employed; it is protected by tort law only if its infringement leads to the infringement of other civil rights. Data companies’ right to personal data derives from their factual actions in legally collecting, storing and paying for these data. The data rights of data companies are a new type of property right. Their protection cannot be left solely to anti-unfair competition law; rather, they should receive systematic protection as absolute rights.

 

Keywords: big data, personal data, right to privacy, absolute rights