Around the world, policymakers are focusing on ways to improve privacy frameworks. The approaches in the EU and in the US differ, based on different legal traditions and different values. Still, there is significant common ground in the commitment to empowering individuals with respect to the collection and use of personal data, and to protecting people against harm from the use of their data.
In the European Union, an effort is underway to harmonize and simplify data protection law while at the same time increasing enforcement against abuses. This section of our website provides basic information and commentary on the current proposals.
European Union Data Protection Reform
On January 25, 2012 the European Commission Proposed a Data Protection Reform proposal. The reform package includes the Regulation on the Protection of Individuals with Regard to the Processing of Personal Data and on the Free Movement of Such Data and the Directive on the Protection of Individuals with Regard to Processing of Personal Data by Competent Authorities for the Purposes of Prevention, Investigation, Detection or Prosecution of Criminal Offences or the Execution of criminal Penalties, and the Free Movement of Such Data. Together, these two legal instruments will replace the 1995 Data Protection Directive with the goals of modernizing existing laws and meeting the challenges of emerging technologies, strengthening individuals’ rights while promoting the free flow of personal data, and achieve harmonized implementation of data protection rules in all member states.
The EU’s legislative process for data protection reform is expected to last between two and four years as the European Parliament and Council of the European Union engage in the Ordinary Legislative Procedure.
Visit the European Parliament Procedure File on Personal Data Protection: processing and free movement of data for more information.
Please visit the resource section below where you will find public opinions from leading groups as well as official EU documentation.
Future of Privacy Forum – EU White Papers