The EU's Justice Council yesterday agreed on a definitive proposal for a General Data Protection Regulation that would replace the old 1995 Data Protection Directive.
Privacy campaigners have dismissed the latest proposal for new pan-European data protection laws as “meaningless”, saying the rules will not strengthen individuals' rights over their personal information.
The European Data Protection Supervisor published an opinion highlighting some of the major technology trends which may involve unacceptable processing of personal information or may interfere with the right to privacy. It outlines a four-tier ‘big data protection ecosystem’ to respond to the digital challenge. The EDPS has also announced the establishment of an external Ethics Board, that will help to better assess the ethical implications of how personal information is defined and used in the big data and artificial intelligence driven world.
The Opinion follows on from the previous Opinion on the General Data Protection Regulation which aimed to assist the main institutions of the EU in reaching the right consensus on workable, future-oriented set of rules which enable and promote the rights and freedoms of the individual.
New EU data protection rules which aim to give citizens back control of their personal data and create a high, uniform level of data protection across the EU fit for the digital era was given their final approval by MEPs on Thursday. The reform also sets minimum standards on use of data for policing and judicial purposes.
The text of the General Data Protection Regulation has been published and it is available here.
The top European data protection official, the European Data Protection Supervisor, has called for strong privacy protections in the "ePrivacy Directive", an updated framework to safeguard personal information. "The scope of new ePrivacy rules needs to be broad enough to cover all forms of electronic communications irrespective of network or service used." The Data Protection Supervisor also said the legislation should "allow users to use end-to- end encryption without back doors". NGOs and data protection officials have also called for the reform of the European legislation after the adoption of the General Data Protection Regulation. EPIC has urged the FCC to establish a comprehensive framework for communications privacy, noting the work now underway in Europe to update privacy laws.
Access Now testified in a hearing before the LIBE Committee in the European Parliament on the proposal for an e-Privacy Regulation that was presented by the EU Commission on 10 January 2017.
The e-Privacy proposal aims to set the rules for the respect for private life and the confidentiality of electronic communications in the EU. Access Now's testimony clarifies that to protect Europeans’ fundamental rights, the rules should not only uphold the level of protection afforded by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), but should exceed it.