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Agreement on Commission’s EU Data Protection Reform will Boost Digital Single Market
The European Commission put forward its EU Data Protection Reform in 2012 to make Europe fit for the digital age (IP/12/46)
European Commission – Press release
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM – 15 December 2015 — /BackupReview.info/ — The European Commission put forward its EU Data Protection Reform in 2012 to make Europe fit for the digital age (IP/12/46). Today, an agreement was found with the European Parliament and the Council, following final negotiations between the three institutions (so-called ‘trilogue’ meetings).
More than 90% of Europeans say they want the same data protection rights across the EU – and regardless of where their data is processed: this will soon be a reality. The Reform package will put an end to the patchwork of data protection rules that currently exists in the EU.
Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, said: “Today’s agreement is a major step towards a Digital Single Market. It will remove barriers and unlock opportunities. The digital future of Europe can only be built on trust. With solid common standards for data protection, people can be sure they are in control of their personal information. And they can enjoy all the services and opportunities of a Digital Single Market. We should not see privacy and data protection as holding back economic activities. They are, in fact, an essential competitive advantage. Today’s agreement builds a strong basis to help Europe develop innovative digital services. Our next step is now to remove unjustified barriers which limit cross-border data flow: local practice and sometimes national law, limiting storage and processing of certain data outside national territory. So let us move ahead and build an open and thriving data economy in the EU – based on the highest data protection standards and without unjustified barriers.”
Vera Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality said, “Today we deliver on the promise of the Juncker Commission to finalize data protection reform in 2015. These new pan-European rules are good for citizens and good for businesses. Citizens and businesses will profit from clear rules that are fit for the digital age, that give strong protection and at the same time create opportunities and encourage innovation in a European Digital Single Market. And harmonised data protection rules for police and criminal justice authorities will ease law enforcement cooperation between Member States based on mutual trust, contributing to the European Agenda for Security.”
The Reform consists of two instruments:
A fundamental right for citizens
The new rules address these concerns by strengthening the existing rights and empowering individuals with more control over their personal data. Most notably, these include:
Clear modern rules for businesses
Benefits for big and small alike
Protecting personal data in the area of law enforcement
With the new Data Protection Directive for Police and Criminal Justice Authorities, law enforcement authorities in EU Member States will be able to exchange information necessary for investigations more efficiently and effectively, improving cooperation in the fight against terrorism and other serious crime in Europe.
The Data Protection Directive for Police and Criminal Justice Authorities takes account of the specific needs of law enforcement, respects the different legal traditions in Member States and is fully in line with the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
Individuals’ personal data will be better protected, whenprocessed for any law enforcement purpose including prevention of crime. It will protect everyone – regardless of whether they are a victim, criminal or witness. All law enforcement processing in the Union must comply with the principles of necessity, proportionality and legality, with appropriate safeguards for the individuals. Supervision is ensured by independent national data protection authorities, and effective judicial remedies must be provided.
The Data Protection Directive for Police and Criminal Justice Authorities provides clear rules for the transfer of personal data by law enforcement authorities outside the EU, to ensure that the level of protection of individuals guaranteed in the EU is not undermined.
The Commission will work closely with Member State Data protection authorities to ensure a uniform application of the new rules. During the two-year transition phase, the Commission will inform citizens about their rights and companies about their obligations.
Data Protection Authorities will work more closely together in the future, especially through the one-stop shop mechanism to solve cross-border data protection cases.
Proposed by then EU Justice Commissioner, Vice-President Viviane Reding in January 2012 (see IP/12/46), the data protection reform package includes the General Data Protection Regulation and the data Protection Directive for Police and Criminal Justice Authorities. It updates and replaces the current Data protection rules that are based on the 1995 Data Protection Directive and the 2008 Framework Decision for the police and criminal justice sector.
For more information
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Source: European Commission
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