Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Code of EU online rights published

The Code of EU online rights has been published today as part of the Digital Agenda for Europe actions. The Code compiles the rights and principles under EU legislation protection EU citizens and consumers when going online.

--- Posted by Tomas Soria, Policy Officer, DG CONNECT Regulatory coordination and users' unit.

The Code of EU online rights has been published today as part of the Digital Agenda for Europe actions. The Code compiles the rights and principles under EU legislation protection EU citizens and consumers when going online.

The Digital Agenda for Europe acknowledges the difficulty for citizens to be fully aware and understand their existing rights in the digital environment. Today, consumers do not entirely trust cyberspace and as a consequence do not take full advantage of online services available.

Nevertheless, European citizens enjoy a series of rights that are relevant to the digital environment, such as freedom of expression and information, protection of personal data and privacy, requirements for transparency and universal telephone and functional internet services and a minimum quality of service. However, these existing rights are scattered across various EU legal instruments and are not always easy to grasp. The Code intends to raise awareness and understanding about key digital rights of EU citizens.

As the Code does not create new rights, it is not by itself be enforceable; but the particular rights and principles are enforceable under the EU legal instrument from which they derive, which has been transposed and implemented into national legislation in the different EU Member States.

The Code makes easier for EU citizens and consumers to know the existing EU legislation as regards online rights, inspires trust and confidence among consumers when acceding and using online services and applications, and encourages consumers to conduct more activity online.

The Code of EU online rights can be consulted in the DAE website where is also available in 22 EU languages. A simplified version with easy examples - your online rights – is also available in these languages in the Your Europe website.


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On the data protection and privacy rights you say our rights are:

"To be fully informed and give their agreement if a website stores and retrieves information from their terminal equipment or wants to track them when they surf the internet;..."

To be clear does this mean that sites MUST get our agreement BEFORE tracking us or does it mean we have the right to give our agreement but sites can choose to track us anyway. If the idea of this document is to explain our rights clearly, then it fails on this point.

If this is inferring that our rights are simply to register our disagreement (to be tracked) after the event could you give us the reference to the European legislation that specifies this? For example if we register our disagreement are companies required to delete any data they have acquired when tracking us?

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