Stronger data protection rules for Europe

Luxembourg, 15 June 2015

Stronger data protection rules for Europe

More than 90% of Europeans are concerned about mobile apps collecting their data without their consent. Today, an important step was taken to finalise EU data protection rules to help restore that confidence.

Ministers in the Council reached a General Approach on the new data protection rules, confirming the approach taken in the Commission’s proposal back in 2012 (see IP/12/46). The proposed rules received the backing of the European Parliament in March 2014 (MEMO/14/186).

How do EU data protection rules contribute to boosting the Digital Single Market?

Completing the Digital Single Market is one of the top priorities of the European Commission. The internet and digital technologies are transforming our world. But existing barriers online mean citizens miss out on goods and services, internet companies and start-ups have their horizons limited, and businesses and governments cannot fully benefit from digital tools.

With a fully functioning Digital Single Market, we can create up to €415 billion in additional growth, hundreds of thousands of new jobs, and a vibrant knowledge-based society (see IP/15/4919).

But if citizens do not trust online services, they will not benefit from all the opportunities presented by technology. Confidence is paramount, but it is still far from a reality.

Data protection reform will address this lack of trust. It will strengthen citizen’s rights such as the right to be forgotten, the right to data portability and the right to be informed of personal data breaches. The reform gives national regulators enforcement powers to ensure that these new rules are properly applied. They will be able to impose fines of up to 2% of a company’s annual worldwide turnover.