European Commission Announces Intention to Strengthen EU Data Protection Rules

In a press release dated November 4, 2010, the European Commission outlined its goal of reviewing and amending its Data Protection Directive to address “challenges raised by new technologies and globalisation.”  The press release announces the Commission’s intention to “put forward legislation next year to strengthen individuals’ rights while also removing red tape to ensure the free flow of data within the EU’s Single Market” and sets forth a “series of key goals”, including “[s]trengthening individuals’ rights,” “[e]nsuring high levels of protection for data transferred outside the EU,” and “[m]ore effective enforcement of the rules.” The press release is entitled, “European Commission sets out strategy to strengthen EU data protection rules” and begins:

What happens to your personal data when you board a plane, open a bank account, or share photos online? How is this data used and by whom?  How do you permanently delete profile information on social networking websites?  Can you transfer your contacts and photos to another service?  Controlling your information, having access to your data, being able to modify or delete it – these are essential rights that have to be guaranteed in today’s digital world.  To address these issues, the European Commission today set out a strategy on how to protect individuals’ data in all policy areas, including law enforcement, while reducing red tape for business and guaranteeing the free circulation of data within the EU.  This policy review will be used by the Commission with the results of a public consultation to revise the EU’s 1995 Data Protection Directive.  The Commission will then propose legislation in 2011.

To read the entire press release, click here.

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