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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.

Japan adequacy decision 20 July 2018, 00:40 CET
The EU and Japan successfully concluded their talks on reciprocal adequacy on 17 July 2018. They agreed to recognise each other's data protection systems as 'equivalent', which will allow data to flow safely between the EU and Japan.

Jehovah's Witnesses must comply with data privacy law: EU Court 11 July 2018, 23:42 CET
The processing of personal data carried out by Jehovah's Witnesses during their door-to-door preaching must respect EU law on the protection of personal data, the EU's top court ruled on Tuesday.

EU agrees deal on free flow of non-personal data 21 June 2018, 22:37 CET
The European Parliament, Council and Commission reached a political agreement late Tuesday on new rules that will allow data to be stored and processed everywhere in the EU without unjustified restrictions.

Free flow of non-personal data in the EU 21 June 2018, 20:32 CET
The European Parliament, Council and the European Commission on 19 June reached a political agreement on new rules that will allow data to be stored and processed everywhere in the EU without unjustified restrictions.

Data protection - Rules for the protection of personal data inside and outside the EU 21 May 2018, 23:58 CET
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Data Protection Law Enforcement Directive and other rules concerning the protection of personal data, as well as authorities tasked with enforcement.

GDPR - what changes after May 2018 21 May 2018, 18:49 CET
The General Data Protection Regulation rules will apply as of 25 May 2018. They will bring several improvements to deal with data protection violations in the future.

The new EU Data Protection Regulation - rules for European businesses 21 May 2018, 18:46 CET
The EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) - which applies as of 25 May 2018 - will make it easier for companies to do business across the EU. The new law will help businesses fully benefit from the digital economy throughout the EU's Digital Single Market.

Seven steps to get ready for the GDPR 21 May 2018, 18:44 CET
his guide aims to help those companies that do not handle personal data as a core business activity, such as SMEs that mainly deal with personal data of their employees or have lists of clients and customers. This includes for instance traders or shops, such as a bakery or a butcher, or service providers like architects. This guide highlights the few steps that need to be taken to get ready for the GDPR.

EU states must be ready for new data protection rules, says Brussels 25 January 2018, 23:01 CET
With new EU data protection rules set to come into force on 25 May, the European Commission has published guidance to help Member States prepare for the changes and provide support to businesses.

2018 reform of EU data protection rules 21 May 2018, 18:43 CET
Stronger rules on data protection mean people have more control over their personal data and businesses benefit from a level playing field.

General Data Protection Regulation - background guide 21 May 2018, 18:50 CET
The data protection reform package which entered into force in May 2016 and will be applicable as of May 2018 includes the General Data Protection Regulation ("Regulation") and the Data Protection Directive for the police and criminal justice sector.

Talks set to remove barriers to free flow of data in Europe 20 December 2017, 23:07 CET
A draft proposal to allow non-personal data to move freely across borders, removing unjustified restrictions on the geographical location for storing and processing data, was agreed Wednesday by EU states.

Restrictions to Cross-Border Data Flows: a Taxonomy 28 November 2017, 14:16 CET
Strict privacy regimes, requests to use local data centres and outright bans to transfer data abroad are a few examples of policies imposed recently that restrict data from crossing national or regional borders. This paper is the first one to propose a comprehensive taxonomy of these restrictions, which has a bearing on international trade law. Restrictions on cross-border data flows may affect countries’ legal commitments under various trade agreements, including the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). This taxonomy can be the basis of further legal and economic research to assess the legitimacy and necessity of these under international trade law.

Privacy activist can sue Facebook, but no class action: EU Court 15 November 2017, 22:54 CET
Austrian privacy activist Maximilian Schrems can sue Facebook Ireland before the Austrian Courts with respect to the private use of his Facebook account, an EU Court advisor said Wednesday.

EU-US Privacy Shield review finds room for improvement 18 October 2017, 21:03 CET
The EU- U.S. Privacy Shield is doing a good job in protecting the personal EU personal data but there is some room for improving its implementation, the Commission says in its first annual review.

Annual Review of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield 18 October 2017, 20:38 CET
The European Commission published on 18 October its first annual report on the functioning of the EU- U.S. Privacy Shield, the aim of which is to protect the personal data of anyone in the EU transferred to companies in the U.S. for commercial purposes.

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.