Technological progress and globalisation have profoundly changed the way our data is collected, accessed and used. In addition, the 27 EU Member States have implemented the 1995 rules differently, resulting in divergences in enforcement. A single law will do away with the current fragmentation and costly administrative burdens, leading to savings for businesses of around â‚¬2.3 billion a year. The initiative will help reinforce consumer confidence in online services, providing a much needed boost to growth, jobs and innovation in Europe. […]
The Commission’s proposals update and modernise the principles enshrined in the 1995 Data Protection Directive to guarantee privacy rights in the future. They include a policy Communication setting out the Commission’s objectives and two legislative proposals: aÂ RegulationÂ setting out a general EU framework for data protection and aÂ DirectiveÂ on protecting personal data processed for the purposes of prevention, detection, investigation or prosecution of criminal offences and related judicial activities.
Key changes in the reform include:
- AÂ single set of rulesÂ on data protection, valid across the EU. UnnecessaryÂ administrative requirements,Â such as notification requirements for companies, will be removed. This will save businesses around â‚¬2.3 billion a year.
- Instead of the current obligation of all companies to notify all data protection activities to data protection supervisors â€“ a requirement that has led to unnecessary paperwork and costs businesses â‚¬130 million per year, the Regulation provides for increasedÂ responsibility and accountabilityÂ for those processing personal data.
- For example, companies and organisations must notify the national supervisory authority of seriousÂ data breachesÂ as soon as possible (if feasible within 24 hours).
- Organisations will only have to deal with aÂ single national data protection authorityÂ in the EU country where they have their main establishment. Likewise, people can refer to theÂ data protection authorityÂ in their country, even when their data is processed by a company based outside the EU. WhereverÂ consentÂ is required for data to be processed, it is clarified that it has to be given explicitly, rather than assumed.
- People will have easierÂ access to their own dataÂ and be able toÂ transfer personal dataÂ from one service provider to another more easily (right to data portability). This will improve competition among services.
- AÂ â€˜right to be forgottenâ€™Â will help people better manage data protection risks online: people will be able to delete their data if there are no legitimate grounds for retaining it.
- EU rules must apply if personal data isÂ handled abroadÂ by companies that are active in the EU market and offer their services to EU citizens.
- Independent national data protection authoritiesÂ will be strengthened so they can better enforce the EU rules at home. They will be empowered to fine companies that violate EU data protection rules. This can lead to penalties of up to â‚¬1 million or up to 2% of the global annual turnover of a company.
- A newÂ DirectiveÂ will apply general data protection principles and rulesÂ forÂ police and judicial cooperationÂ in criminal matters. The rules will apply to both domestic and cross-border transfers of data.
The Commission’s proposals will now be passed on to the European Parliament and EU Member States (meeting in the Council of Ministers) for discussion. They will take effect two years after they have been adopted.