Viviane Reding, European commissioner for justice, fundamental rights and citizenship, has been outlining the costs and legal strategy behind forthcoming EU data privacy legislation. Speaking at a public meeting hosted by the European People’s Party, Reding said that the new plans, expected this summer, would impose some extra costs on businesses. However, these would be more than mitigated by a reduction of red tape within the EU and the opening up of the market to innovation. “All fundamental rights have a cost. The right to the protection of data is not an exception,” she said. “Costs are carried by businesses, administrations and citizens – actually by society as a whole. But I believe that companies have specific responsibility because data is often their main economic asset. “Reding said that by initiating an EU-wide framework for data management, the variable costs to companies of complying with a plethora of different legal frameworks in member states would be eliminated. The rules of applicable law will also be simplified to reduce costs further.