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11.03.2015

EU data protection rules

EU governments looking to undermine key privacy provisions

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EU justice and home affairs ministers will discuss proposals to revise EU legislation on data protection at their Council meeting on Friday. A number of EU governments have tabled new provisions, including a proposal to allow businesses or national authorities to use consumers' data for purposes not intended under agreed terms of use, which could be agreed already at the council meeting. Commenting ahead of the council meeting, Green MEP and European Parliament draftsperson/rapporteur on the data protection regulation Jan Philipp Albrecht stated:

"It is a scandal that EU governments are looking to weaken data protection standards in Europe. Proposals by the UK and German governments would enable consumers' data to be used without their explicit consent for the purpose of marketing or determining credit-worthiness. This would be a step back from the provisions of the existing EU legislation and would only benefit internet businesses to the detriment of consumers and users. This cannot be allowed to stand and the other ministers cannot agree.

"It is now exactly a year since the European Parliament adopted its position on the review of EU data protection rules, which means there has been a year of foot-dragging by EU governments. This delay is inexplicable for EU citizens: every day that goes by without updating the outdated patchwork of EU data protection rules is at the expense of EU citizens and their rights. While we would urge justice and home affairs ministers to 'get a move on', this cannot mean that they totally undermine the balanced proposal adopted by the Parliament."

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