Single Digital MarketReform on EU Data Protection seeks to strengthen consumer rights

On December 15, 2015 the Member States, the European Commission and the European Parliament agreed on compromises to conclude the work on the EU Data Protection reform. This reform is overdue due to the fact that European consumers worry about data protection in the digital world. A recent Eurobarometer-survey shows that more than 90% of Europeans preferred consistent data protection laws across Europe and 67% expressed worries about not having control of personal information they provide online. In order to address these issues, the EU Data Protection reform entails the following aspects:

  • The General Data Protection Regulation empowers consumers to better control their personal data. This includes better access to private data as well as clear and understandable information on how the data is processed.
  • A new right to data portability will facilitate the transfer of personal data between service providers.
  • The “right to be forgotten" will be clarified. Hence, personal data will be deleted, given that consumers no longer want their data to be processed and that there are no legitimate grounds for retaining it.
  • Companies and organizations are required to immediately notify national supervisory authorities in case of severe data breach, so that users can take appropriate measures.

Monique Goyens, Director General of the European Consumer Organization (BEUC), welcomed the reform: “Consumers’ personal data is a gold mine for many business sectors. The way the internet works means the potential to acquire, scour and use our data is enormous. To update this pre-Internet privacy law was much-needed and long overdue. (…) It is a false bargain if consumers have to give away their personal data in exchange for accessing online services. This new EU law will give stronger rights to consumers to claim back ownership of their data.”

More information and BEUC-statement

Source: European Commission