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Data protection guides

EU data protection rules reform - guide
What happens to your personal data when you board a plane, open a bank account, or share photos online? How is this data used and by whom? How do you permanently delete profile information on social networking websites? Can you transfer your contacts and photos to another service? Controlling your information, having access to your data, being able to modify or delete it – these are essential rights that have to be guaranteed in today's digital world. To address these issues, the European Commission sets out a strategy on how to protect individuals' data in all policy areas, including law enforcement, while reducing red tape for business and guaranteeing the free circulation of data within the EU. This policy review will be used by the Commission with the results of a public consultation to revise the EU’s 1995 Data Protection Directive. The Commission will then propose legislation in 2011.

EU external strategy on Passenger Name Record (PNR) - guide
The European Commission has adopted a package of proposals on the exchange of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data with third countries, consisting of an EU external PNR strategy and recommendations for negotiating directives for new PNR agreements with the United States, Australia and Canada.

EU-US data protection agreement negotiations - briefing
The European Commission today adopted a draft mandate to negotiate a personal data protection agreement between the European Union and the United States when cooperating to fight terrorism or crime. The aim is to ensure a high level of protection of personal information like passenger data or financial information that is transferred as part of transatlantic cooperation in criminal matters. The agreement would enhance the right of citizens to access, rectify or delete data, where appropriate.

RFID: Radio Frequency IDentification - briefing
Europeans should be able to have control over smart chips, a worldwide market set to grow five times over in the next decade, while still being able to easily use them to make everyday life simpler, says the European Commission. There are already over 6 billion smart chips, microelectronic devices that can be integrated into a variety of everyday objects from fridges to bus passes. With Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, they can process data automatically when brought close to 'readers' that activate them, pick up their radio signal and exchange data with them. They are in the passes you use to enter your office and the smart cards that pay highway tolls. Today, the Commission adopted a set of recommendations to make sure that everyone involved in the design or operation of technology using smart chips respects the individual's fundamental right to privacy and data protection, contained in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union proclaimed on 14 December 2007.

The SWIFT case and the American Terrorist Finance Tracking Program
After the 11th September 2001 terrorist attacks, the United States Department of the Treasury ("U.S. Treasury") developed the "Terrorist Finance Tracking Program" ("TFTP"). The TFTP is based on United States statutory mandates and Executive Orders authorising the U.S. Treasury to use appropriate measures to identify, track and pursue those who provide financial support for terrorist activity.

Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs)
The use of Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs) can help to design information and communication systems and services in a way that minimises the collection and use of personal data and facilitate compliance with data protection rules. The use of PETs should result in making breaches of certain data protection rules more difficult and/or helping to detect them.

Data protection in the EU
Concerns about personal data collection on the Internet are increasing. Developments in the European Union fo create of a frontier free Internal Market and the EU's so-called 'Information Society' have greatly increases the cross-frontier flows of personal data between Member States of the EU.