This event considers the state of the art as to Facebook and the law, as its subject and object and putting it into the broader context of the global law of ‘big Tech’.
It considers the operation of the Facebook Oversight Board and its characterisation in public law, private law and global governance. Facebook has been instrumental in being involved in litigation as to the EU-US Privacy Shield struck down by the CJEU in Schrems II in July 2020.
The transatlantic / EU-US partnership in regulating and governing data flows has been put under considerable strain thereafter, with many difficulties becoming apparent in the implementation of Schrems II and its introduction of heightened forms of EU localisation of data.
Will a change in US administration and an increased concern for a federal privacy law, agency and regulation shift US views and also global thinking in the global fragmentation between ‘right-centric- Europe’ and more economic understandings of regulation? How will the law of Facebook emerge?
Digital trade provisions are also increasingly being adopted in international trade agreements of various forms with reference to privacy and a fragmentation of regimes results.
Outside of international agreements on data flows and digital trade, the regulation of digital services taxes causes increasing forms of controversy as to the capacity to capture Big Tech within taxation regimes. To similar effect, national and regional competition law regimes increasing grapple with remedies, framing and instruments in their efforts to rein in the ungovernable nature of Big Tech, with endless capacity to pay fines imposed, to lobby harder and circumvent the regime regulation when needed.
The future regulation online intermediaries is also the subject of considerable work, in particular, in Europe. Are EU law developments as to its Digital Services Act sufficient? Will its Digital Markets Act provide a significant weapon? Is there a transatlantic dispute of epic proportions ahead? Will the new Biden administration lead to a successful development of a transatlantic alliance on trade and technology? Are institutions the problem and/ or the solution?
The panel examines the Law of Facebook from a variety of perspective, following up from the 2020 City Law School Law of Facebook event.
Francisco De Abreu Duarte, PhD Researcher, Faculty of Law, European University Institute (EUI), EUI Digital Public Sphere Working Group
Bilyana Petkova, Professor of Law, Graz Law School, Austria, Affiliate Scholar, Yale Information Society Project
Thomas Streinz, Inaugural Executive Director of Guarini Global Law & Tech, New York University (NYU) Law School, Adjunct Professor of Law at NYU Law, and Fellow at the Institute for International Law and Justice (IILJ)
Peter Swire, Elizabeth & Tommy Holder Chair of Law and Ethics, Scheller College of Business, Georgia Institute of Technology
Elaine Fahey, Jean Monnet Chair in Law and Transatlantic Relations & Professor of Law, City Law School, City, University of London