Digital Single Market
Digital Economy & Society

Action 12: Review the EU data protection rules

Article

What is the problem? Data protection rules vary and are difficult to understand

EU citizens have the right to the protection of their personal data and of their privacy in the online world. However, these rights are encoded in many different laws and are not always easy to grasp, while national approaches to data protection rules can vary widely across the EU.

Why is EU action needed? Lack of trust means less online business

This lack of clarity in online privacy rules triggers a lack of trust among consumers, which slows down the growth of Europe's online economy. Worries about payment security privacy concerns and trust were some of the top reasons for not making online purchases in a survey of people who did not shop online in 2009. Recent surveys and independent studies confirm that privacy concerns continue to grow among the public.

What has the Commission done so far and what are the next steps?

The European Commission (DG JUST in lead) has reviewed the existing EU data protection framework. On 25 January 2012 the Commission proposed a data protection Regulation with the aim of modernizing the legal framework and enhancing the trust and confidence of European consumers.

In 2010 & 2011:

  • The Commission consulted the public and stakeholders, adopted a Commission Communication on renewing the EU data protection rules.

In 2012:

  • The Commission adopted a data protection Regulation to strengthen online privacy rights and boost Europe's digital economy.
  • The Commission is currently working with the Parliament and Council towards final adoption of the Regulation.
The 5th edition of the European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG) will bring together some 500 representatives from civil society, business, governments, parliaments and international organisations to openly discuss the most pressing issues on Internet public policy. Some of these issues will be: Are rules for Internet governance a necessity or a threat to a free Internet? Who should set the rules?; How can intellectual property be protected without criminalising users and creators?; What tools do users need to protect their personal data?; What are the responsibilities of service providers with regard to the enjoyment of rights such as freedom of expression?; Are regulations needed to protect network neutrality in Europe?
Thursday
14
Jun
2012
Friday
15
Jun
2012
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Stockholm, Sweden
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Overview of telecoms infringement proceedings

Data Protection Day: guaranteeing individuals' privacy rights

This conference offers a forum for academics, practitioners, policy-makers and civil society where they can meet, exchange ideas and discuss emerging issues of information technology, privacy, data protection and law. Specific sessions will be dedicated to the issues of e-health, surveillance and law-enforcement, privacy in on-line service models and data breaches notifications. A call for papers has been launched (deadline : 16 November 2010)
Tuesday
25
Jan
2011
Thursday
27
Jan
2011
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Brussels, Belgium
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