European Commission's strategy for Data Protection Directive

By EDRi · September 22, 2010

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Deutsch: [ Datenschutz-Richtlinie: Die Strategie der Europäischen Kommission |]

During the Conference organised on 16 September 2010 by the Lisbon Council
Brussels on “Unleashing the digital single market”, Vivane Reding,
vice-president of the European Commission and Commissioner for justice,
fundamental rights and citizenship, announced, among other things, she would
make a proposal for the future revision of the present Data Protection

In her speech, Mrs. Reding reinforced her beliefs expressed in October 2009
that Europe needed a Digital Single Market that would be beneficial for
consumers and businesses alike and vowed to use EU justice policy to
strengthen it. The commissioner identified two main tools that may help in
solving the problems of the digital economy: The Consumer Rights and Data
Protection Directives.

A strong data protection legislation would also be an important element in
boosting business and consumer confidence “to ensure consumers of surfing
and shopping online without worrying about the safety of their personal
information.” Therefore, the commissioner announced that an outline for the
revision of the present Data Protection Directive would be presented by the
Commission in October 2010 in order to “strengthen individuals’ rights and
enhance the Internal Market dimension of data protection.”

The revision would include a more strict application of transparency for
a “full, easily accessible and easy to understand information on how
personal data is being processed.” The collection of personal data should
have a legitimate purpose and not exceed the strictly necessary data. “Data
should be collected and processed only under informed consent of a person to
whom they relate.”

One measure intended by the Commission is that of enhancing the
responsibility of the data controllers to be able to establish “effective
mechanisms to ensure compliance with data protection rules.”

Reding also expressed again the idea that as the Internet is a global tool,
the data transferred through it should be protected and expressed the
intention to improve the current procedures for international data

In order to encourage new technologies in an environment in which consumers
know their rights, different solutions could be found such as “privacy by
design.” “Data protection compliance should be embedded throughout the
entire life cycle of technologies and procedures.”

The Digital Single Market should also be a cyber crime-safe
environment. And for this purpose the Commission will propose criminal
sanctions against people responsible for cyber attacks.

Press Release – Viviane Reding Vice-President of the European Commission
responsible for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship – Doing the
Single Market justice – Unleashing the digital single market Conference,
organised by the Lisbon Council Brussels (16.09.2010)

EDRi-gram: Reding: EU policy for information society for the next years