Wednesday, 25 January 2012

EU data protection reform announced

As mentioned yesterday ("EU data protection reform") the European Commission proposed today a comprehensive reform of the EU rules on data protection from 1995 ("Commission proposes a comprehensive reform of data protection rules to increase users' control of their data and to cut costs for businesses"). The main reason for the new proposal is that in the past 17 years many things has changed as far as internet and online privacy is concerned.

"17 years ago less than 1% of Europeans used the internet. Today, vast amounts of personal data are transferred and exchanged, across continents and around the globe in fractions of seconds," said EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding, the Commission’s Vice-President. "The protection of personal data is a fundamental right for all Europeans, but citizens do not always feel in full control of their personal data. My proposals will help build trust in online services because people will be better informed about their rights and in more control of their information. The reform will accomplish this while making life easier and less costly for businesses. A strong, clear and uniform legal framework at EU level will help to unleash the potential of the Digital Single Market and foster economic growth, innovation and job creation."

The main points of the proposed regulations have been mentioned in the blog post from yesterday. The proposed legislative acts are as follows: Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation) and Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by competent authorities for the purposes of prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties, and the free movement of such data (Directive). More information may be found at the Data Protection website or at the Q&A website.

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