Published 23 October 2019
The trade in personal data is pervading many of the traditional areas of law, such as contract and intellectual property, and is likely to result in increasing disputes over this trade. International arbitration offers a way to resolve these disputes. This article examines the role of international arbitration in data protection law. It draws on the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and resort to international commercial arbitration (ICA) to resolve personal data disputes across jurisdictions. It examines the EU laws alongside those of Australia and Singapore. The purpose is to demonstrate the fundamental value of ICA in resolving personal data disputes; how to apply ICA to such disputes as distinct from other international commercial disputes; and how to address divergences across regions and states in approaches to protecting personal data. The article highlights the challenges and possible effectiveness of ICA, which will largely depend on the consent of data subjects to use their personal data in addressing disputes over the alleged abuse of that data.