2023/ 2024

Tivadar Hüttl

Mobility Phase: University of Amsterdam, Institute for Information Law (IVIR)

GDPR Weaponized: How Data Protection Undermines the Freedom of Press

Tivadar Hüttl is an attorney-at-law, practicing in Hungary. As the director of litigation of Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, he has extensive experience in human rights litigation. He is providing legal representation in high profile constitutional law cases before national courts and the Hungarian Constitutional Court. He also represents clients before international judicial bodies such as the European Court of Human Rights, European Court of Justice and the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Mandli and others vs. Hungary, Szurovecz vs. Hungary cases was selected as the best judgement of 2018 and 2019 by Strasbourg Observers. Besides the Juris Doctor degree – obtained in Hungary – he holds an LLM degree from the University of Cambridge. His research explores how data protection laws are misused to silence the press.


GDPR Weaponized: How Data Protection Undermines the Freedom of Press

Potential tensions between freedom of expression and privacy are not a novelty. However, the new EU data protection regime that came into force in May 2018 already generated fundamentally new kind of collisions between these rights. Recent decisions by data protection authorities and national courts from multiple member states undermine the freedom of press and put extreme burden on the daily work of journalists and the press. The divergence in the application and interpretation of “press exceptions” from the GDPR creates fragmented protection data protection and makes the legal environment erratic for media companies. The proposed research would start with a theoretical analysis on the interaction between the GDPR and the internationally accepted legal standards on privileges of the media based on which the relevant case-law would be dissected. Finally, as a synthesis, arguments on how to balance between the colliding fundamental rights would be formulated.