On the eve of this year's Data Protection Day, the European Commission takes stock of the progress of the reform of the EU's legal framework for data protection that was set in motion two years ago (see our post 'EU data protection reform announced'). In a comprehensive press release, the Commission sets out the time frame for adoption of the proposed Data Protection Regulation and Directive (a possible agreement before the end of 2014); benefits for citizens, businesses and SMEs; the reform's foreseen impact on the Internal Market and on scientific research; and the meaning of the right to be forgotten. Furthermore, the Commission pays attention to the EU's response to allegations of surveillance of EU citizens by US intelligence agencies.
Vice-president Viviane Reding, who will give a speech at the Centre for European Policy Studies tomorrow, adds:
'Data protection in the European Union is a fundamental right. Europe already has the highest level of data protection in the world. With the EU data protection reform which was proposed exactly two years ago – in January 2012 – Europe has the chance to make these rules a global gold standard. These rules will benefit citizens who want to be able to trust online services, and the small and medium sized businesses looking at a single market of more than 500 million consumers as an untapped opportunity. The European Parliament has led the way by voting overwhelmingly in favour of these rules. I wish to see full speed on data protection in 2014.'
See also DG Justice's Data Protection website.