Date of Graduation

Spring 5-19-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Studies (MAIS)


College of Arts and Sciences


International Studies

First Advisor

Dorothy Kidd

Second Advisor

Filip Kovacevic


This paper examines the current state of data privacy laws, with a specific focus on the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation. It begins by defining privacy as a fundamental aspect of the liberal worldview and discussing the history of privacy legislation to show that protecting privacy has long been a commitment of liberal countries.

The paper then discusses how technology has progressed and exposed the inadequacy of previous privacy laws, citing scholarly literature to emphasize the urgent need for updated legislation. It provides an overview of updates made to privacy legislation before the GDPR was passed in 2018, followed by an analysis of the GDPR itself.

The paper concludes that the GDPR has moved the conversation surrounding privacy in the right direction, but it has shortcomings in its crucial components, resulting in vagueness. Therefore, the effectiveness of the law is questioned. Finally, the conclusion is drawn that while the GDPR is a step in the right direction, more study and effort on the part of lawmakers are necessary to effectively protect privacy in the digital age.

Keywords: GDPR, European Union, Privacy, Power, Sovereignty, Public Utility