The European Commission has proposed a comprehensive reform of the EU’s 1995 data protection rules to strengthen online privacy rights and boost Europe’s digital economy. The Commission’s proposals update and modernize the principles enshrined in the 1995 Data Protection Directive to guarantee privacy rights in the future. They include a policy Communication setting out the Commission’s objectives and two legislative proposals: a Regulation setting out a general EU framework for data protection and a Directive on protecting personal data processed for the purposes of prevention, detection, investigation or prosecution of criminal offences and related judicial activities.
A single law will do away with the current fragmentation and costly administrative burdens, leading to savings for businesses of around €2.3 billion a year (roughly 3 billion U.S. dollars). The initiative will also help reinforce consumer confidence in online services, providing a much-needed boost to growth, jobs and innovation in Europe. The Commission’s proposals will now be passed on to the European Parliament and EU Member States (meeting in the Council of Ministers) for discussion.