In the interplay between data protection and competition law

Published: 2021-05-17

"Personal data is the new oil" - those were the words that made alumnus Rickard Nilsson want to sink his teeth into the interplay between data protection and competition law. Today he works with data protection compliance at NENT Group. Outside of work, he entertains thousands of Swedes at Instagram as the cameraman behind @dagtolstoy.

"Not a single working day has passed without me dealing with a data protection issue", Rickard says.

Rickard, tell us about what you do today!
I work as a Data Protection Manager at Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT Group). The company includes brands like Viaplay and Viafree. The role is very broad but limited to data protection. My main task is to ensure that the group companies comply with data protection legislation. This includes implementing internal guidelines and policies, training staff as well as negotiating and review data protection-related writings in agreements.

What is the main reason you work within data protection?
When I studied at the Department of Business Law in Lund, I got interested in EU competition law, mainly due to the inspiring university lectures. At the time, I was interested in the tech giants' progress and how the revenues could be so great when so much is free for the end-user. I was introduced to a speech by the European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager which contained a conclusion that "…personal data is the new oil…". This made me realize that I wanted to sink my teeth into the interplay between data protection and competition law.

Two months before my thesis was submitted, I applied for, and was granted, a job at LegalWorks Nordic AB, where I very timely (about a year before the GDPR would require to be complied with) started working with data protection issues for my employer's clients. Since then, not a single working day has passed without me dealing with a data protection issue.

How did LUSEM prepare you for working life and a career within data protection?
By offering inspiring lectures and being open-minded with the choice of research area for the bachelor's thesis and exceptionally good supervision.
I have many times thought about whether my life would have looked different if I had not had the very instructive discussions and received valuable input from my supervisor Jonas Ledendal. Thank you for your very good guidance Jonas.

What advice would you give yourself if you started your studies now?
To value, establish and abide to daily routines without compromising too much with the fun of being a student. To prepare for professional life in a reasonable way. Not for the sake of preparation, but because with the routines that working life requires, I want to believe that the studies and the days would have passed more easily and efficiently.

Tell us about your expectations for the future.
I expect to work with data protection throughout my career, but perhaps not to the extent I am today. I'm no stranger to switching track to an academic one.

Do you have questions for Rickard? Reach out to him on LinkedIn

Are you also one of LUSEM's alumni? Join LUSEM Alumni at LinkedIn

Career and studies

Current position: Data Protection Manager at NENT Group
Current location: Stockholm, Sweden
Highest degree from LUSEM: BSc in Business Law
Year of graduation: 2017

What do you do outside of work?

Together with my very good friend, I create humor content that is appreciated by thousands of Swedes. @dagtolstoy on Instagram.