The Institutionalization of the Taiwan Personal Data Protection Committee - Triumph of Digital Constitutionalism: A Legal Positivism Analysis

The Institutionalization of the Taiwan Personal Data Protection Committee - Triumph of Digital Constitutionalism: A Legal Positivism Analysis

2023/07/13

The Legislative Yuan recently passed an amendment to the Taiwan Personal Data Protection Act, which resulted in the institutionalization of the Taiwan Personal Data Protection Commission (hereunder the “PDPC”)[1]. This article aims to analyze the significance of this institutionalization from three different perspectives: legal positivism, digital constitutionalism, and Millian liberalism. By examining these frameworks, we can better understand the constitutional essence of sovereignty, the power dynamics among individuals, businesses, and governments, and the paradox of freedom that the PDPC addresses through governance and trust.

I.Three Layers of Significance

1.Legal Positivism

The institutionalization of the PDPC fully demonstrates the constitutional essence of sovereignty in the hands of citizens. Legal positivism emphasizes the importance of recognizing and obeying (the sovereign, of which it is obeyed by all but does not itself obey to anyone else, as Austin claims) laws that are enacted by legitimate authorities[2]. In this context, the institutionalization of the PDPC signifies the recognition of citizens' rights to control their personal data and the acknowledgment of the sovereign in protecting their privacy. It underscores the idea that the power to govern personal data rests with the individuals themselves, reinforcing the principles of legal positivism regarding sovereign

Moreover, legal positivism recognizes the authority of the state in creating and enforcing laws. The institutionalization of the PDPC as a specialized commission with the power to regulate and enforce personal data protection laws represents the state's recognition of the need to address the challenges posed by the digital age. By investing the PDPC with the authority to oversee the proper handling and use of personal data, the state acknowledges its responsibility to protect the rights and interests of its citizens.

2.Digital Constitutionalism

The institutionalization of the PDPC also rebalances the power structure among individuals, businesses, and governments in the digital realm[3]. Digital constitutionalism refers to the principles and norms that govern the relationship between individuals and the digital sphere, ensuring the protection of rights and liberties[4]. With the rise of technology and the increasing collection and use of personal data, individuals often find themselves at a disadvantage compared to powerful entities such as corporations and governments[5].

However, the PDPC acts as a regulatory body that safeguards individuals' interests, rectifying the power imbalances and promoting digital constitutionalism. By establishing clear rules and regulations regarding the collection, use, and transfer of personal data, the PDPC may set a framework that ensures the protection of individuals' privacy and data rights. It may enforce accountability among businesses and governments, holding them responsible for their data practices and creating a level playing field where individuals have a say in how their personal data is handled.

3.Millian Liberalism

The need for the institutionalization of the PDPC embodies the paradox of freedom, as raised in John Stuart Mill’s “On Liberty”[6], where Mill recognizes that absolute freedom can lead to the infringement of others' rights and well-being. In this context, the institutionalization of the PDPC acknowledges the necessity of governance to mitigate the risks associated with personal data protection.

In the digital age, the vast amount of personal data collected and processed by various entities raises concerns about privacy, security, and potential misuse. The institutionalization of the PDPC represents a commitment to address these concerns through responsible governance. By setting up rules, regulations, and enforcement mechanisms, the PDPC ensures that individuals' freedoms are preserved without compromising the rights and privacy of others. It strikes a delicate balance between individual autonomy and the broader social interest, shedding light on the paradox of freedom.

II.Legal Positivism: Function and Authority of the PDPC

1.John Austin's Concept of Legal Positivism: Sovereignty, Punishment, Order

To understand the function and authority of the PDPC, we turn to John Austin's concept of legal positivism. Austin posited that laws are commands issued by a sovereign authority and backed by sanctions[7]. Sovereignty entails the power to make and enforce laws within a given jurisdiction.

In the case of the PDPC, its institutionalization by the Legislative Yuan reflects the recognition of its authority to create and enforce regulations concerning personal data protection. The PDPC, as an independent and specialized committee, possesses the necessary jurisdiction and competence to ensure compliance with the law, administer punishments for violations, and maintain order in the realm of personal data protection.

2.Dire Need for the Institutionalization of the PDPC

There has been a dire need for the establishment of the PDPC following the Constitutional Court's decision in August 2022, holding that the government needed to establish a specific agency in charge of personal data-related issues[8]. This need reflects John Austin's concept of legal positivism, as it highlights the demand for a legitimate and authoritative body to regulate and oversee personal data protection. The PDPC's institutionalization serves as a response to the growing concerns surrounding data privacy, security breaches, and the increasing reliance on digital platforms. It signifies the de facto recognition of the need for a dedicated institution to safeguard the individual’s personal data rights, reinforcing the principles of legal positivism.

Furthermore, the institutionalization of the PDPC demonstrates the responsiveness of the legislative branch to the evolving challenges posed by the digital age. The amendment to the Taiwan Personal Data Protection Act and the subsequent institutionalization of the PDPC are the outcomes of a democratic process, reflecting the will of the people and their desire for enhanced data protection measures. It signifies a commitment to uphold the rule of law and ensure the protection of citizens' rights in the face of emerging technologies and their impact on privacy.

3.Authority to Define Cross-Border Transfer of Personal Data

Upon the establishment of the PDPC, it's authority to define what constitutes a cross-border transfer of personal data under Article 21 of the Personal Data Protection Act will then align with John Austin's theory on order. According to Austin, laws bring about order by regulating behavior and ensuring predictability in society.

By granting the PDPC the power to determine cross-border data transfers, the legal framework brings clarity and consistency to the process. This promotes order by establishing clear guidelines and standards, reducing uncertainty, and enhancing the protection of personal data in the context of international data transfers.

The PDPC's authority in this regard reflects the recognition of the need to regulate and monitor the cross-border transfer of personal data to protect individuals' privacy and prevent unauthorized use or abuse of their information. It ensures that the transfer of personal data across borders adheres to legal and ethical standards, contributing to the institutionalization of a comprehensive framework for cross-border data transfer.

III.Conclusion

In conclusion, the institutionalization of the Taiwan Personal Data Protection Committee represents the convergence of legal positivism, digital constitutionalism, and Millian liberalism. It signifies the recognition of citizens' sovereignty over their personal data, rebalances power dynamics in the digital realm, and addresses the paradox of freedom through responsible governance. By analyzing the PDPC's function and authority in the context of legal positivism, we understand its role as a regulatory body to maintain order and uphold the principles of legal positivism. The institutionalization of the PDPC serves as a milestone in Taiwan's commitment to protect individuals' personal data and safeguard the digital rights. In essence, the institutionalization of the Taiwan Personal Data Protection Committee represents a triumph of digital constitutionalism, where individuals' rights and interests are safeguarded, and power imbalances are rectified. It also embodies the recognition of the paradox of freedom and the need for responsible governance in the digital age in Taiwan.

[1] Lin Ching-yin & Evelyn Yang, Bill to establish data protection agency clears legislative floor, CNA English News, FOCUS TAIWAN, May 16, 2023, https://focustaiwan.tw/society/202305160014 (last visited, July 13, 2023).

[2] Legal positivism, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/legal-positivism/?utm_source=fbia (last visited July 13, 2023).

[3] Edoardo Celeste, Digital constitutionalism: how fundamental rights are turning digital, (2023): 13-36, https://doras.dcu.ie/28151/1/2023_Celeste_DIGITAL%20CONSTITUTIONALISM_%20HOW%20FUNDAMENTAL%20RIGHTS%20ARE%20TURNING%20DIGITAL.pdf  (last visited July 3, 2023).

[4] GIOVANNI DE GREGORIO, DIGITAL CONSTITUTIONALISM IN EUROPE: REFRAMING RIGHTS AND POWERS IN THE ALGORITHMIC SOCIETY 218 (2022).

[5] Celeste Edoardo, Digital constitutionalism: how fundamental rights are turning digital (2023), https://doras.dcu.ie/28151/1/2023_Celeste_DIGITAL%20CONSTITUTIONALISM_%20HOW%20FUNDAMENTAL%20RIGHTS%20ARE%20TURNING%20DIGITAL.pdf (last visited July 13, 2023).

[6] JOHN STUART MILL, On Liberty (1859), https://openlibrary-repo.ecampusontario.ca/jspui/bitstream/123456789/1310/1/On-Liberty-1645644599.pdf (last visited July 13, 2023).

[7] Legal positivism, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/legal-positivism/?utm_source=fbia (last visited July 13, 2023).

[8] Lin Ching-yin & Evelyn Yang, Bill to establish data protection agency clears legislative floor, CNA English News, FOCUS TAIWAN, May 16, 2023, https://focustaiwan.tw/society/202305160014 (last visited, July 13, 2023).

※The Institutionalization of the Taiwan Personal Data Protection Committee - Triumph of Digital Constitutionalism: A Legal Positivism Analysis,STLI, https://stli.iii.org.tw/en/article-detail.aspx?no=55&tp=2&i=168&d=9023 (Date:2024/07/22)
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Post Brexit – An Update on the United Kingdom Privacy Regime

Post Brexit – An Update on the United Kingdom Privacy Regime 2021/9/10   After lengthy talks, on 31 January 2020, the United Kingdom (‘UK’) finally exited the European Union (‘EU’). Then, the UK shifted into a transition period. The UK government was bombarded with questions from all stakeholders. In particular, the data and privacy industry yelled out the loudest – what am I going to do with data flowing from the EU to the UK? Privacy professionals queried – would the UK have a new privacy regime that significantly departs from the General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’)? Eventually, the UK made a compromise with all stakeholders – the British, the Europeans and the rest of the world – by bridging its privacy laws with the GDPR. On 28 June 2021, the UK obtained an adequacy decision from the EU.[1] This was widely anticipated but also widely known to be delayed, as it was heavily impacted by the aftermaths of the invalidation of the US- EU Privacy Shield.[2]   While the rest of the world seems to silently observe the transition undertaken by the UK, post-Brexit changes to the UK’s privacy regime is not only a domestic or regional matter, it is an international matter. Global supply chains and cross border data flows will be affected, shuffling the global economy into a new order. Therefore, it is crucial as citizens of a digital economy to unpack and understand the current UK privacy regime. This paper intends to give the reader a brief introduction to the current privacy regime of the UK. The author proposes to set out the structure of the UK privacy legislation, and to discuss important privacy topics. This paper only focuses on the general processing regime, which is the regime that is most relevant to general stakeholders. UK Privacy Legislation   There are two main privacy legislation in the UK – the Data Protection Act 2018 (‘DPA’) and the United Kingdom General Data Protection Act (‘UK GDPR’). These two acts must be read together in order to form a coherent understanding of the current UK privacy regime.   The UK GDPR is the creature of Brexit. The UK government wanted a smooth transition out of the EU and acknowledged that they needed to preserve the GDPR in their domestic privacy regime to an extent that would allow them to secure an adequacy decision. The UK government also wanted to create less impact on private companies. Thus, the UK GDPR was born. Largely it aligns closely with the GDPR, supplemented by the DPA. ICO   The Information Commissioner’s Office (‘ICO’) is the independent authority supervising the compliance of privacy laws in the UK. Prior to Brexit, the ICO was the UK’s supervisory authority under the GDPR. A unique feature of the ICO’s powers and functions is that it adopts a notice system. The ICO has power to issue four types of notices: information notices, assessment notices, enforcement notices and penalty notices.[3] The information notice requires controllers or processors to provide information. The ICO must issue an assessment notice before conducting data protection audits. Enforcement is only exercisable by giving an enforcement notice. Administrative fines are only exercisable by giving a penalty notice. Territorial Application   Section 207(1A) of the DPA states that the DPA applies to any controller or processor established in the UK, regardless where the processing of personal data takes place. Like the GDPR, the DPA and the UK GDPR have an extraterritorial reach to overseas controllers or processors. The DPA and the UK GDPR apply to overseas controllers or processors who process personal data relating to data subjects in the UK, and the processing activities are related to the offering of goods or services, or the monitoring of data subjects’ behavior.[4] Transfers of Personal Data to Third Countries   On 28 June 2021, the UK received an adequacy decision from the EU.[5] This means that until 27 June 2025, data can continue to flow freely between the UK and the European Economic Area (‘EEA’).   As for transferring personal data to third countries other than the EU, the UK has similar laws to the GDPR. Both the DPA and the UK GDPR restrict controllers or processors from transferring personal data to third countries. A transfer of personal data to a third country is permitted if it is based on adequacy regulations.[6] An EU adequacy decision is known as ‘adequacy regulations’ under the UK regime.   If there is no adequacy regulations, then a transfer of personal data to a third country will only be permitted if it is covered by appropriate safeguards, including standard data protection clauses, binding corporate rules, codes of conduct, and certifications.[7] The ICO intends to publish UK standard data protection clauses in 2021.[8] In the meantime, the EU has published a new set of standard data protection clauses (‘SCCs’).[9] However, it must be noted that the EU SCCs are not accepted to be valid in the UK, and may only be used for reference purposes. It is also worth noting that the UK has approved three certification schemes to assist organizations in demonstrating compliance to data protection laws.[10] Lawful Bases for Processing   Basically, the lawful bases for processing in the UK regime are the same as the GDPR. Six lawful bases are set out in article 6 of the UK GDPR. To process personal data, at least one of the following lawful bases must be satisfied:[11] The data subject has given consent to the processing; The processing is necessary for the performance of a contract; The processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation; The processing is necessary to protect vital interests of an individual – that is, protecting an individual’s life; The processing is necessary for the performance of a public task; The processing is necessary for the purpose of legitimate interests, unless other interests or fundamental rights and freedoms override those legitimate interests. Rights & Exemptions   The UK privacy regime, like the GDPR, gives data subjects certain rights. Most of the rights granted under the UK privacy regime is akin to the GDPR and can be found under the UK GDPR. Individual rights under the UK privacy regime is closely linked with its exemptions, this may be said to be a unique feature of the UK privacy regime which sets it apart from the GDPR. Under the DPA and the UK GDPR, there are certain exemptions, meaning organizations are exempted from certain obligations, most of them are associated with individual rights. For example, if data is processed for scientific or historical research purposes, or statistical purposes, organizations are exempted from provisions on the right of access, the right to rectification, the right to restrict processing and the right to object in certain circumstances.[12] Penalties   The penalty for infringement of the UK GDPR is the amount specified in article 83 of the UK GDPR.[13] If an amount is not specified, the penalty is the standard maximum amount.[14] The standard maximum amount, at the time of writing, is £8,700,000 (around 10 million Euros) or 2% of the undertaking’s total annual worldwide turnover in the preceding financial year.[15] In any other case, the standard maximum amount is £8,700,000 (around 10 million Euros).[16] Conclusion   The UK privacy regime closely aligns with the GDPR. However it would be too simple of a statement to say that the UK privacy regime is almost identical to the GDPR. The ICO’s unique enforcement powers exercised through a notice system is a distinct feature of the UK privacy regime. Recent legal trends show that the UK while trying to preserve its ties with the EU is gradually developing an independent privacy persona. The best example is that in regards to transfers to third countries, the UK has developed its first certification scheme and is attempting to develop its own standard data protection clauses. The UK’s transition out of the EU has certainly been interesting; however, the UK’s transformation from the EU is certainly awaited with awe. [1] Commission Implementing Decision of 28.6.2021, pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the adequate protection of personal data by the United Kingdom, C(2021) 4800 final,https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/default/files/decision_on_the_adequate_protection_of_personal_data_by_the_united_kingdom_-_general_data_protection_regulation_en.pdf.. [2] Judgment of 16 July 2020, Data Protection Commissioner v. Facebook Ireland Limited, Maximillian Schrems, C-311/18, EU:C:2020:559, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:62018CJ0311. [3] Data Protection Act 2018, §115. [4] Data Protection Act 2018, §207(1A); REGULATION (EU) 2016/679 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation), art 3. [5] supra note 1. [6] Data Protection Act 2018, §17A-18; REGULATION (EU) 2016/679 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation), art 44-50. [7] Data Protection Act 2018, §17A-18; REGULATION (EU) 2016/679 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation), art 46-47. [8]International transfers after the UK exit from the EU Implementation Period, ICO, https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-data-protection/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/international-transfers-after-uk-exit/ (last visited Sep. 10, 2021). [9] Standard contractual clauses for international transfers, European Commission, https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/law-topic/data-protection/international-dimension-data-protection/standard-contractual-clauses-scc/standard-contractual-clauses-international-transfers_en (last visited Sep. 10, 2021). [10] ICO, New certification schemes will “raise the bar” of data protection in children’s privacy, age assurance and asset disposal, ICO, Aug. 19, 2021, https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/news-and-events/news-and-blogs/2021/08/ico-approves-the-first-uk-gdpr-certification-scheme-criteria/ (last visited Sep. 10, 2021). [11] REGULATION (EU) 2016/679 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation), art 6(1)-(2); Lawful basis for processing, ICO, https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-data-protection/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/lawful-basis-for-processing/ (last visited Sep. 10, 2021). [12] Data Protection Act 2018, sch 2, part 6, para 27. [13] id. at §157. [14] id. [15] id. [16] id.

Blockchain and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance issues (2019)

Blockchain and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance issues (2019) I. Brief   Blockchain technology can solve the problem of trust between data demanders and data providers. In other words, in a centralized mode, data demanders can only choose to believe that the centralized platform will not contain the false information. However, in the decentralized mode, data isn’t controlled by one individual group or organization[1], data demanders can directly verify information such as data source, time, and authorization on the blockchain without worrying about the correctness and authenticity of the data.   Take the “immutable” for example, it is conflict with the right to erase (also known as the right to be forgotten) in the GDPR.With encryption and one-time pad (OTP) technology, data subjects can make data off-chain storaged or modified at any time in a decentralized platform, so the problem that data on blockchain not meet the GDPR regulation has gradually faded away. II. What is GDPR?   The purpose of the EU GDPR is to protect user’s data and to prevent large-scale online platforms or large enterprises from collecting or using user’s data without their permission. Violators will be punished by the EU with up to 20 million Euros (equal to 700 million NT dollars) or 4% of the worldwide annual revenue of the prior financial year.   The aim is to promote free movement of personal data within the European Union, while maintaining adequate level of data protection. It is a technology-neutral law, any type of technology which is for processing personal data is applicable.   So problem about whether the data on blockchain fits GDPR regulation has raise. Since the blockchain is decentralized, one of the original design goals is to avoid a large amount of centralized data being abused.   Blockchain can be divided into permissioned blockchains and permissionless blockchains. The former can also be called “private chains” or “alliance chains” or “enterprise chains”, that means no one can join the blockchain without consent. The latter can also be called “public chains”, which means that anyone can participate on chain without obtaining consent.   Sometimes, private chain is not completely decentralized. The demand for the use of blockchain has developed a hybrid of two types of blockchain, called “alliance chain”, which not only maintains the privacy of the private chain, but also maintains the characteristics of public chains. The information on the alliance chain will be open and transparent, and it is in conflict with the application of GDPR. III. How to GDPR apply to blockchain ?   First, it should be determined whether the data on the blockchain is personal data protected by GDPR. Second, what is the relationship and respective responsibilities of the data subject, data controller, and data processor? Finally, we discuss the common technical characteristics of blockchain and how it is applicable to GDPR. 1. Data on the blockchain is personal data protected by GDPR?   First of all, starting from the technical characteristics of the blockchain, blockchain technology is commonly decentralized, anonymous, immutable, trackable and encrypted. The other five major characteristics are immutability, authenticity, transparency, uniqueness, and collective consensus.   Further, the blockchain is an open, decentralized ledger technology that can effectively verify and permanently store transactions between two parties, and can be proved.   It is a distributed database, all users on the chain can access to the database and the history record, also can directly verify transaction records. Each nodes use peer-to-peer transmission for upload or transfer information without third-party intermediation, which is the unique “decentralization” feature of the blockchain.   In addition, the node or any user on the chain has a unique and identifiable set of more than 30 alphanumeric addresses, but the user may choose to be anonymous or provide identification, which is also a feature of transparency with pseudonymity[2]; Data on blockchain is irreversibility of records. Once the transaction is recorded and updated on the chain, it is difficult to change and is permanently stored in the database, that is to say, it has the characteristics of “tamper-resistance”[3].   According to Article 4 (1) of the GDPR, “personal data” means any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (‘data subject’); an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person.   Therefore, if data subject cannot be identified by the personal data on the blockchain, that is an anonymous data, excluding the application of GDPR. (1) What is Anonymization?   According to Opinion 05/2014 on Anonymization Techniques by Article 29 Data Protection Working Party of the European Union, “anonymization” is a technique applied to personal data in order to achieve irreversible de-identification[4].   And it also said the “Hash function” of blockchain is a pseudonymization technology, the personal data is possible to be re-identified. Therefore it’s not an “anonymization”, the data on the blockchain may still be the personal data stipulated by the GDPR.   As the blockchain evolves, it will be possible to develop technologies that are not regulated by GDPR, such as part of the encryption process, which will be able to pass the court or European data protection authorities requirement of anonymization. There are also many compliance solutions which use technical in the industry, such as avoiding transaction data stored directly on the chain. 2. International data transmission   Furthermore, in accordance with Article 3 of the GDPR, “This Regulation applies to the processing of personal data in the context of the activities of an establishment of a controller or a processor in the Union, regardless of whether the processing takes place in the Union or not. This Regulation applies to the processing of personal data of data subjects who are in the Union by a controller or processor not established in the Union, where the processing activities are related to: (a) the offering of goods or services, irrespective of whether a payment of the data subject is required, to such data subjects in the Union; or (b) the monitoring of their behaviour as far as their behaviour takes place within the Union”.[5]   In other words, GDPR applies only when the data on the blockchain is not anonymized, and involves the processing of personal data of EU citizens. 3. Identification of data controllers and data processors   Therefore, if the encryption technology involves the public storage of EU citizens' personal data and passes it to a third-party controller, it may be identified as the “data controller” under Article 4 of GDPR, and all nodes and miners of the platform may be deemed as the “co-controller” of the data, and be assumed joint responsibility with the data controller by GDPR. For example, the parties can claim the right to delete data from the data controller.   In addition, a blockchain operator may be identified as a “processor”, for example, Backend as a Service (BaaS) products, the third parties provide network infrastructure for users, and let users manage and store personal data. Such Cloud Services Companies provide online services on behalf of customers, do not act as “data controllers”. Some commentators believe that in the case of private chains or alliance chains, such as land records transmission, inter-bank customer information sharing, etc., compared to public chain applications: such as cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin for example), is not completely decentralized, and more likely to meet GDPR requirements[6]. For example, in the case of a private chain or alliance chain, it is a closed platform, which contains only a small number of trusted nodes, is more effective in complying with the GDPR rules. 4. Data subject claims   In accordance with Article 17 of the GDPR, The data subject shall have the right to obtain from the controller the erasure of personal data concerning him or her without undue delay and the controller shall have the obligation to erase personal data without undue delay under some grounds.   Off-chain storage technology can help the blockchain industry comply with GDPR rules, allowing offline storage of personal data, or allow trusted nodes to delete the private key of encrypted information, which leaving data that cannot be read and identified on the chain. If the data is in accordance with the definition of anonymization by GDPR, there is no room for GDPR to be applied. IV. Conclusion   In summary, it’s seem that the application of blockchain to GDPR may include: (a) being difficulty to identified the data controllers and data processors after the data subject upload their data. (b) the nature of decentralized storage is transnational storage, and Whether the country where the node is located, is meets the “adequacy decision” of Article 45 of the GDPR.   If it cannot be met, then it needs to consider whether it conforms to the transfers subject to appropriate safeguards of Article 46, or the derogations for specific situations of Article 49 of the GDPR. Reference: [1] How to Trade Cryptocurrency: A Guide for (Future) Millionaires, https://wikijob.com/trading/cryptocurrency/how-to-trade-cryptocurrency [2] DONNA K. HAMMAKER, HEALTH RECORDS AND THE LAW 392 (5TH ED. 2018). [3] Iansiti, Marco, and Karim R. Lakhani, The Truth about Blockchain, Harvard Business Review 95, no. 1 (January-February 2017): 118-125, available at https://hbr.org/2017/01/the-truth-about-blockchain [4] Article 29 Data Protection Working Party, Opinion 05/2014 on Anonymisation Techniques (2014), https://www.pdpjournals.com/docs/88197.pdf [5] Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation), https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:32016R0679&from=EN [6] Queen Mary University of London, Are blockchains compatible with data privacy law? https://www.qmul.ac.uk/media/news/2018/hss/are-blockchains-compatible-with-data-privacy-law.html

The Study of Estonian Human Genes Database

I. Introduction The human genes database or human genome project, the product under the policy of biotechnology no matter in a developed or developing country, has been paid more attention by a government and an ordinary people gradually. The construction of human genes database or human genome project, which is not only related to a country’s innovation on biotechnology, but also concerns the promotion of a country’s medical quality, the construction of medical care system, and the advantages brought by the usage of bio-information stored in human genes database or from human genome project. However, even though every country has a high interest in setting up human genes database or performing human genome project, the issues concerning the purposes of related biotechnology policies, the distribution of advantages and risks and the management of bio-information, since each country has different recognition upon human genes database or human genome project and has varied standards of protecting human basic rights, there would be a totally difference upon planning biotechnology policies or forming the related systems. Right now, the countries that vigorously discuss human genes database or practice human genome project include England, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Latvia and Estonia. Estonia, which is the country around the Baltic Sea, has planned to set up its own human genes database in order to draw attention from other advanced countries, to attract intelligent international researchers or research groups, and to be in the lead in the area of biotechnology. To sum up, the purpose of constructing Estonian human genes database was to collect the genes and health information of nearly 70% Estonia’s population and to encourage bio-research and promote medical quality. II. The Origin of Estonian Human Genes Database The construction of Estonian human genes database started from Estonian Genome Project (EGP). This project was advocated by the professor of biotechnology Andres Metspalu at Tartu University in Estonia, and he proposed the idea of setting up Estonian human genes database in 1999. The purposes of EGP not only tried to make the economy of Estonia shift from low-cost manufacturing and heavy industry to an advanced technological economy, but also attempted to draw other countries’ attention and to increase the opportunity of making international bio-researches, and then promoted the development of biotechnology and assisted in building the system of medical care in Estonia. EGP started from the agreement made between Estonian government and Eesti Geenikeskus (Estonian Genome Foundation) in March, 1999. Estonian Genome Foundation was a non-profit organization formed by Estonian scientists, doctors and politicians, and its original purposes were to support genes researches, assist in proceeding any project of biotechnology and to set up EGP. The original goals of constructing EGP were “(a) reaching a new level in health care, reduction of costs, and more effective health care, (b) improving knowledge of individuals, genotype-based risk assessment and preventive medicine, and helping the next generation, (c) increasing competitiveness of Estonia – developing infrastructure, investments into high-technology, well-paid jobs, and science intensive products and services, (d) [constructing] better management of health databases (phenotype/genotype database), (e) … [supporting]… economic development through improving gene technology that opens cooperation possibilities and creates synergy between different fields (e.g., gene technology, IT, agriculture, health care)”1. III. The Way of Constructing Estonian Human Genes Database In order to ensure that Estonian human genes database could be operated properly and reasonably in the perspectives of law, ethics and society in Estonia, the Estonian parliament followed the step of Iceland to enact “Human Genes Research Act” (HGRA) via a special legislative process to regulate its human genes database in 2000. HGRA not only authorizes the chief processor to manage Estonian human genes database, but also regulates the issues with regard to the procedure of donation, the maintenance and building of human genes database, the organization of making researches, the confidential identity of donator or patient, the discrimination of genes, and so on. Since the construction of Estonian human genes database might bring the conflicts of different points of view upon the database in Estonia, in order to “avoid fragmentation of societal solidarity and ensure public acceptability and respectability”2 , HGRA adopted international standards regulating a genes research to be a norm of maintaining and building the database. Those standards include UNESCO Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights (1997) and the Council of Europe’s Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine (1997). The purpose of enacting HGRA is mainly to encourage and promote genes researches in Estonia via building Estonian human genes database. By means of utilizing the bio-information stored in the database, it can generate “more exact and efficient drug development, new diagnostic tests, improved individualized treatment and determination of risks of the development of a disease in the future”3 . In order to achieve the above objectives, HGRA primarily puts emphasis on several aspects. Those aspects include providing stronger protection on confidential identity of donators or patients, caring for their privacy, ensuring their autonomy to make donations, and avoiding any possibility that discrimination may happen because of the disclosure of donators’ or patients’ genes information. 1.HERBERT GOTTWEIS & ALAN PETERSEN, BIOBANKS – GOVERNANCE IN COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE 59 (2008). 2.Andres Rannamae, Populations and Genetics – Legal and Socio-Ethical Perspectives, in Estonian Genome Porject – Large Scale Health Status Description and DNA Collection 18, 21 (Bartha Maria Knoppers et al. eds., 2003. 3.REMIGIUS N. NWABUEZE, BIOTECHNOLOGY AND THE CHALLENGE OF PROPERTY – PROPERTY RIGHTS IN DEAD BODIES, BODY PARTS, AND GENETIC INFORMATION, 163 (2007).

The EU's New Legal Framework for European Research Infrastructure

Recognized that Research infrastructures (RIs) are at the centre of the knowledge triangle of research, education and innovation and play an increasingly important role in the advancement of knowledge and technology, the EU began to finance for the establishments of RIs by its Framework Programmes (FPs) since the start of FP2 of 1987. On the other hand, the EU also assigned the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) to develop a coherent and strategy-led approach to policy-making on RIs between Member States and to facilitate the better use and development of RIs at EU and international level. Based on those efforts, the European Commission understood that a major difficulty in setting up RIs between EU countries is the lack of an adequate legal framework allowing the creation of appropriate partnerships and proposed a legal framework for a European research infrastructure adapted to the needs of such facilities. The new legal framework for a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) entered into force on 28 August 2009. An successfully-set-up ERIC will have the legal personality based on EU law, and can benefit from exemptions from VAT and excise duty in all EU Member States and may adopt its own procurement procedures to get rid of the EU's public procurement procedures. It is predicted that the Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure (BBMRI) will apply to become a BBMRI-ERIC in the near future. The EU also seeks to lead in Energy, Food and Biology through the reforms of ERICs to assist the high quality of activities of European scientists and attract the best researchers from around the world. Besides, in order to connect the knowledge triangle effectively, the European Commission also established the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) on March 2008. It hopes through the research development partnership network to gather all the advantages from the science and technology chains of multiple areas, and make an effort for the strategy of EU innovation development jointly;Meanwhile, extends its roadmap to the objectives and practices of the Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) of the EIT. Contrast with the EU's advance, it is necessary to our government to concentrate and contemplate whether it is the time to reconsider if our existing legal instruments available to domestic research facilities and infrastructures are sufficient enough to reach our science and technology development goals.

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