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Data protection in the EU

Under EU law, personal data can only be gathered legally under strict conditions, for a legitimate purpose. Persons or organisations which collect and manage your personal information must protect it from misuse and must respect certain rights of the data owners which are guaranteed by EU law. Common EU rules have been established to ensure that people's personal data enjoys a high standard of protection everywhere in the EU. You have the right to complain and obtain redress if your data is misused anywhere within the EU. The EU's Data Protection Directive also foresees specific rules for the transfer of personal data outside the EU to ensure the best possible protection of your data when it is exported abroad.

EU targets end to data localisation 21 September 2017, 00:25 CET
The EU Commission proposed a framework for the free flow of non-personal data Tuesday, highlighting the removal of data localisation restrictions as key to unlocking the potential of Europe's data economy.

Data protection reform package 24 May 2017, 15:35 CET
The EU data protection reform package entered into force in May 2016 and will be applicable as of May 2018. It includes the General Data Protection Regulation ("Regulation") and the Data Protection Directive for the police and criminal justice sector.

Euro-MPs address new online privacy rules 19 April 2017, 15:51 CET
A European Parliament committee is working on new privacy rules which would take account of new practices such as internet-based messaging and allow users better control of their privacy settings.

Exchanging and Protecting Personal Data in a Globalised World 12 January 2017, 23:17 CET
The European Commission is proposing new legislation to ensure stronger privacy in electronic communications, while opening up new business opportunities.

Skype, WhatsApp face tighter EU e-Privacy laws 12 January 2017, 19:15 CET
Services such as Skype and WhatsApp would need to respect similar e-Privacy rules to those for traditional phone and text messaging services under plans to update EU data privacy rules unveiled Tuesday.

Euro-MPs greenlight EU-US data protection agreement 01 December 2016, 15:16 CET
The European Parliament gave the green light Thursday to the EU-US 'Umbrella Agreement' on the protection of personal data exchanged across the Atlantic for the purposes of law enforcement.

EU-U.S. Data Protection "Umbrella Agreement" - questions & answers 01 December 2016, 14:46 CET
The EU-US data protection "Umbrella Agreement", given the green light by the European Parliament on 1 December, puts in place a comprehensive high-level data protection framework for EU-US law enforcement cooperation.

Websites can store IP Addresses, rules EU Court 20 October 2016, 18:41 CET
A website operator can store certain personal data relating to visitors of the site if it helps to identify the visitor and also to protect itself against cyber attacks, the EU's top court ruled on Thursday.

EU - U.S. Privacy Shield goes operational 04 August 2016, 23:41 CET
From 1 August, companies can sign up to the Privacy Shield with the U.S. Department of Commerce who can verify their privacy policies comply with data protection standards required by the EU-U.S. agreement signed 12 July.

EU-US data transfer accord enters into force 13 July 2016, 00:31 CET
The European Union approved Tuesday the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, a special arrangement that replaces the former 'Safe Harbor' agreement to allow transfer of personal data from the EU to the United States.

EU Data Protection Regulation: Where do businesses need to take action now? 01 July 2016, 00:20 CET
After a protracted negotiation and design phase, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was adopted by the European Parliament on 04/14/2016 and entered into force on 05/24/2016. After 20 years, data protection law is at a whole new level and particularly uniform for the European Union.

EU, US sign shared law enforcement data deal 05 June 2016, 15:48 CET
The EU signed an 'umbrella' deal on protection of shared data with the United States Thursday, putting in place a comprehensive data protection framework for criminal law enforcement cooperation.

EU-US 'Privacy Shield' data deal needs improvement, say MEPs 26 May 2016, 17:55 CET
The European Parliament urged the EU Commission Thursday to go on negotiating with the United States over the proposed 'Privacy Shield' protection for EU citizens’ data transferred to the US for commercial purposes.

MEPs back EU directive on use of Passenger Name Records 14 April 2016, 17:31 CET
Airlines will have to hand national authorities passengers' data for all flights from third countries to the EU and vice versa under a directive regulating the use of Passenger Name Record data in the EU, approved by the European Parliament.

EU votes in new rules for personal data protection 17 April 2016, 23:37 CET
Euro-MPs have given the green light to new EU data protection rules aiming to give citizens back control of their personal data and create a high, uniform level of data protection across the EU.

EU set to strengthen data protection rules 12 April 2016, 00:57 CET
The EU is set to give the final nod to a legislative package on reform of its data protection rules, following first reading adoption by the Council.

EU-U.S. Privacy Shield legal texts 29 February 2016, 13:47 CET
The European Commission issued on 29 February the legal texts that will put in place the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield as well as a Communication summarising action taken to restore trust in transatlantic data flows since the 2013 surveillance revelations.

EU-US Privacy Shield 02 February 2016, 18:49 CET
The European Commission and the United States agreed on 3 February a new framework for transatlantic data flows: the EU-US Privacy Shield.

EU data protection reform to boost the Digital Single Market 16 December 2015, 00:39 CET
The European Commission, Parliament and Council agreed in final negotiations between the three institutions on 15 December EU Data Protection Reform first put forward by the Commission in 2012, with the aim of making Europe 'fit for the digital age'.

EU-US data protection "Umbrella agreement" 09 September 2015, 00:29 CET
The EU has finalised negotiations with the United States on high data protection standards for transatlantic law enforcement cooperation. The finalisation of the Umbrella Agreement negotiations is seen as an important step to strengthen the fundamental right to privacy effectively and to rebuild trust in EU-US data flows.

Stronger data protection rules for Europe 15 June 2015, 23:41 CET
Ministers in the Justice Council sealed on 15 June a general approach on a European Commission proposal on the Data Protection Regulation. Modern, harmonised data protection rules will contribute to making Europe fit for the digital age and are a step forward to the EU Digital Single Market. Trilogue negotiations with the Parliament and the Council will start in June; the shared ambition is to reach a final agreement by the end of 2015.

Guidelines on the re-use of public sector information 17 July 2014, 16:26 CET
The European Commission published on 17 July guidelines to help EU Member States benefit from the revised Directive on the re-use of public sector information (PSI Directive). These guidelines explain for example how to give access to weather data, traffic data, property asset data and maps. Open data can be used as the basis for innovative value-added services and products, such as mobile apps, which encourage investment in data-driven sectors.

Data-Driven Economy 02 July 2014, 14:57 CET
With data collection and exploitation on the increase, the European Commission has responded to industry and grass-roots demands by calling on national governments to wake-up to this “big data” revolution.

The Data Retention Directive 08 April 2014, 19:07 CET
The Data Retention Directive was adopted in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Madrid in 2004 and London in 2005 as there was a sense of urgency to harmonise the European efforts to investigate and prosecute the most serious crimes.

Restoring Trust in EU-US data flows 27 November 2013, 13:53 CET
The European Commission has set out actions to be taken in order to restore trust in data flows between the EU and the U.S., following deep concerns about revelations of large-scale U.S. intelligence collection programmes, which have had a negative impact on the transatlantic relationship.