EU reassures consumers with new Data Protection strategy04 November 2010
by BEUC -- last modified 04 November 2010
BEUC, the European Consumers' Organisation, welcomes today’s announcement of the European Commission’s review strategy of the 15 year old Data Protection Directive, which sees greater emphasis put on European consumers' fundamental rights to personal data protection and privacy. The EU’s initiative has particular importance because it addresses how internet users' data is collected and processed.
Online business practices do not always respect the current Data Protection Directive requirements and such breaches fuel a lack of consumer confidence. It is of utmost importance that internet users retain control over their personal data. In light of this, BEUC applauds the Commission's call for general principles of 'transparency' and 'data minimisation', while strengthening rights such as 'to be forgotten', data portability between different services/applications and privacy-by-design. A welcome concept includes the obligation to inform web users when any of their personal data has been compromised (Data Breach Notification Obligation). If enforced, these measures will reassure consumers and give them better control over their personal data.
Monique Goyens, Director General of BEUC commented:
"The use of internet is ever expanding and more and more of our lives are online. This expansion only emphasises the essential need to provide consumers with a digital environment they can trust and they should enjoy a high level of data safety both on and offline.
"The Commission has planted the flag showing that the consumer's right to privacy should not be undermined merely because it has become easier and more profitable to break it in the virtual world."
BEUC, the European Consumers' Organisation has a membership of 43 well respected, independent national consumer organisations from 31 European countries (EU, EEA and applicant countries). BEUC acts as the umbrella group in Brussels for these organisations and our main task is to represent our members and defend the interests of all Europe's consumers.
BEUC, the European Consumers' Organisation