The European Commission will today present the data protection package, including legislative proposals. The Greens gave a broad welcome to the proposals. Ahead of the presentation, Green home affairs expert Jan Philipp Albrecht MEP said:
"These proposals would be an important step forward, bringing European data protection rules into the 21st Century and the digital age. The digital world has no borders, making common European data protection standards crucial; all the more so, so that we can effectively enforce these standards on internationally-active companies. Strong EU-wide data protection rules are essential to ensuring individual sovereignty over our own private data.
"The proposals would ensure EU-wide enforceable rules on data protection and privacy, drawing a line under the crusade by certain businesses to avoid regulation. The proposed rules will, however, create greater legal certainty for businesses, ending the unfair competition for lower data protection standards and the related economic costs.
"We particularly welcome the proposals to impose conditions and time limits on the use of data from individuals who volunteer their private information. In the current online era it is easy for internet users to lose sight of private data that they volunteer online or simply forget, making it all the more important to ensure safeguards are in place. To this end, the proposals for sanctions against major online businesses that abuse private data are also welcome.
"It is clear that these ambitious and innovative plans will be the subject of intense lobbying from industry laggards and businesses that make money from existing loopholes in data protection. However, it is also clear that there will be pressure from interior ministries, which are obsessed with big brother style data retention and monitoring (as with passenger data records or bank transfer details). The Greens will work to try and ensure that the final legislation remains robust and that data protection is finally taken seriously as a fundamental right in the EU."