Legal language often contains vague, general wording that actually means very little unless read in a specific context. But legal language also includes clear absolute statements from which no variation seems possible. This is the case when one examines data privacy law. Where used appropriately, the first type—the vague, general wording—is commonly found as expressions of principles that require a flexible interpretation. The focus on concepts such as ‘adequacy’ and ‘proportionality’ are clear examples of this. The second type—the clear absolute statements—are often (appropriately) found as expressions of fundamental rights. Both types of wording may, however, be problematic, as can be seen from the example of European Union (EU) data protection law.
Kuner, C., Svantesson, D. J. B., Cate, F. H., Lynskey, O., & Millard, C. (2016). The language of data privacy law (and how it differs from reality). International Data Privacy Law, 6(4), 259-260. https://doi.org/10.1093/idpl/ipw022