The European Commission recently called for reforms that would modernize Europe’s 1995 data protection rules to improve online privacy rights and help the region’s businesses.
Under the proposed reforms, a single set of rules would be applicable across the EU, thereby simplifying and standardizing the 1995 regulations that would have been implemented differently by country. Individuals would have the “right to be forgotten,” allowing people to delete their personal data if no legitimate grounds exist for retaining the information.
Ninety percent of Europeans said, according to the European Commission, that they are concerned about mobile apps that collect data without consent, and another 70 percent are concerned about how companies use the information provided to them.
The commission approved draft legislation in January 2012. In order for the proposed reforms to become law, they must be approved by the European Union’s joint lawmaking bodies, the EU Council and the Parliament.
The proposals could cut administrative costs for businesses, resulting in savings of more than $3.1 billion each year. The rules would also level the playing field by applying the same set of data protection rules to all firms operating in the EU. Some exemptions would be provided for small businesses to ease the regulatory burden.