Concealed Data Practices and Competition Law: Why Privacy Matters
Room 920, Level 9
Melbourne Law School
185 Pelham Street
In this CLEN Discussion Group seminar Dr Katharine Kemp of UNSW Law will present her research on 'Concealed Data Practices and Competition Law: Why Privacy Matters'. Katharine argues that the degradation of consumer data privacy in the digital environment causes objective detriment to consumers and undermines the competitive process, and should therefore be of critical concern to competition law. Consumers are frequently unaware of the extent to which their personal data is collected, the purposes for which it is used, and the extent to which it is disclosed to others, particularly in digital markets. Researchers and regulators have observed that this is not simply a matter of consumer apathy, but that firms often understate and obscure their actual data practices, preventing consumers from making informed choices. Katharine’s work defines, and provides examples of, a set of “concealed data practices”. These concealed data practices create objective costs and detriments for consumers, making them more susceptible to criminal activity, discrimination, exclusion, manipulation and humiliation. She argues that these practices are not only problematic in terms of consumer protection and privacy regulation. Concealed data practices should also be of concern to competition policy due to their role in chilling competition on privacy; preserving substantial market power by means other than superior efficiency; and deepening information asymmetries and imbalances in bargaining power. Katharine has identified four ways in which these factors should be taken into account by competition authorities.
Light lunch will be provided.
Dr Katharine Kemp, Senior Lecturer
Dr Katharine Kemp
University of New South Wales
Dr Katharine Kemp is a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, UNSW Sydney. Katharine’s research focuses on competition law, consumer protection and data privacy in financial services regulation. She has published widely in these fields, including the book “Misuse of Market Power: Rationale and Reform” (Cambridge University Press, 2018) and numerous peerreviewed articles. She is the CoLeader of the "Data as a Source of Market Power" research stream for The Allens Hub for Technology, Law and Innovation, with Dr Rob Nicholls of the UNSW Business School. She is also the convenor of the postgraduate course, "Financial Law and Regulation in the Age of Fintech" and lectures Contracts at UNSW Law. Before joining the faculty, Katharine was a Research Fellow on the UNSW Digital Financial Services Research Team, conducting indepth research into the regulation of digital financial services in developing countries in particular, including through fieldwork in these countries. She has also practised as a commercial lawyer at Allens, as a barrister in Melbourne, and consulted to the Competition Commission of South Africa during the six years that she lived and worked in South Africa.