Europe has been the fount of data protection absolutism. Not a problem for anyone else but countries such as Thailand and Indonesia are well on the way to model their legislation on the European model. But Chancellor Merkel has seen that the absolutist approach poses dangers to European consumers and businesses as well.
Europeans are famous for banning things, Merkel said. These bans are put in place for good reason, she said, but can be damaging if taken to excess.
“In Germany we have the principle of ‘data minimisation’, but we may have to give a little on that. Such a principle doesn’t seem as appropriate when you are looking at big data,” she said.
While it is important to protect personal data, it is also important to enable new developments, she said.
“Courts will have to be careful not to be too strict if that means limiting opportunities”, Merkel said.