User Choice and Freedom through Portability and Interoperability Rights?


  • Ian Brown


  • Christoph Schmon
  • Rossana Ducato
  • Olivier Dion
  • Dita Charanzová

Organisation: EFF

Room: Grand Hall Online

Timing: 11:45 - 13:00 on 27 January 2021

Our online experience is designed by platforms having power of user and their data. A key mechanism to give users genu-ine choice is to give them control over their experience through interoperability and data portability measures. The GDPR already gives users a right to data portability, which is designed to put individuals at the centre of the data economy. However, this right is not enforced and several factors hinder its success, most importantly the lack of interoperability among different platforms. The upcoming Digital Services Act could tackle this issue and change the rules of the game. The aim of the panel is to focus on portability and interoperability rights in a changing world. Presenting perspectives from academia, enforcement, policy and start-ups, the panelists will explore the gaps in legislation and give insights in what is needed for a free internet.

• What role can the rights to data portability and interoperability play in the data economy and what are the limits?
• Why is data portability so challenging to enforce?
• How can rights and standards enable SMEs to compete with incumbent platforms and what are the right economic incentives to build the necessary digital infrastructure?
• What can the Digital Services Act and the Data Act do to make portability and interoperability rights truly effective?


Ian Brown

FGV Law School (SE)

Dr Ian Brown is Senior Fellow with Research ICT Africa in Cape Town, carrying out research into cybersecurity, data protection, and human rights policy in Africa. He was previously the Principal Scientist for the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport; and before that Professor of Information Security and Privacy at the University of Oxford. He wrote Regulating Code (MIT Press, 2013, with Chris Marsden) and edited the Research Handbook on Governance of the Internet (Elgar, 2013). He is an ACM Distinguished Scientist, and British Computer Society Chartered Fellow and Society Board member.


Christoph Schmon

Electronic Frontier Foundation EFF (US)

Christoph Schmon is EFF’s International Policy Director. He bridges EFF’s domestic priorities with our international policy strategy and helps to make sure that digital rights are respected and enforced beyond the United States borders. Christoph has deep expertise in EU policy-making and a special focus on international copyright law and online intermediary liability. Prior to working for EFF, he led the Consumer Rights Team at the EU Consumer Organisation (BEUC) and was appointed member of several expert groups to the EU Commission in Brussels. Christoph has litigation experience and holds a Ph.D in law. He was a researcher at several universities and teaches and writes about consumer law, digital rights, and private international law.

Rossana Ducato

University of Aberdeen (UK)

Rossana Ducato is Lecturer in IT Law & Regulation at University of Aberdeen. She is also affiliated to the UCLouvain CRIDES, where she runs the Erasmus+ Jean Monnet module “European IT Law by Design”.
Rossana’s interests range from privacy and data protection, to intellectual property, consumer protection, law and behavioural science, and legal design, with a specific focus on the problems related to new technology and their impact on society.
She holds a Ph.D. in European and Comparative Legal Studies from the University of Trento. She loves windsurf, taekwondo, and sci-fi. She is from Palermo.

Olivier Dion

OneCub (FR)

Dita Charanzová


Dita Charanzová is a Czech Vice President of the European Parliament and Vice President of the ALDE Party. She is serving her second mandate in the Renew Europe group. Ms Charanzová has a doctorate degree from the University of Economics, Prague, and graduated from the Diplomatic Academy in Madrid. She is a former diplomat and has worked at the Council of Europe. Ms Charanzová is a member of the Internal Market & Consumer Protection Committee and substitute in the International Trade Committee. Ms Charanzová was named MEP of the Year in 2016 for Foreign Affairs and in 2020 for the Internal Market. She was among the 20 most influential women shaping Brussels politics in 2020 (Politico).