EU-Datenschutzreform

“EU data protection reform” of the EU’s current data protection rules which were passed in 1995.

EU commissioner for justice, fundamental rights and citizenship Viviane Reding said she’s been fighting for this reform for several years now. A proposal she submitted 18 months ago has been languishing, even though the EU’s highly controversial “Vorratsdatenspeicherung-Richtlinie” [data retention directive] was negotiated in under six months, she said according to an 11 Jun 2013 Spiegel article. Laws restricting consumer rights are thus apparently passed much faster than laws guaranteeing consumer rights, in the USA and in the EU.

Reding’s EU data protection reform proposal would allow EU residents’ data to be shared outside the EU if there were appropriate legal protections in place in the recipient countries or organizations. Apparently EU citizens (and US citizens?) cannot sue in US courts in response to inappropriate sharing of their data, for example, so until that changes EU citizens’ sensitive data could not be shared with US groups. On the other hand, as Reding said in a speech at the Dublin summit on 14 Jun 2013, “In Europe, also in cases involving national security, every individual—irrespective of their nationality—can go to a Court, national or European, if they believe that their right to data protection has been infringed. Effective judicial redress is available for Europeans and non-Europeans alike. This is a basic principle of European law.”

Reding’s original proposal said there had to be a Rechtshilfeabkommen, bilateral legal assistance agreement, between the EU and the recipient country, but that bit was deleted before the Prism scandal broke in response to pressure from Washington DC. A group of European parliament members including Jan Philipp Albrecht (Green Party, Germany) and Josef Weidenholzer (Social Democrat, Austria) are now pushing to have the provision put back into the proposal. There is no mutual legal assistance agreement between the USA and the EU.

While some actors in the USA’s recently public “lawless space of the secret services Moloch around the NSA and FBI with its opaque/unmanageable network of private mercenary companies” [“rechtsfreie{r} Raum des Geheimdienstmolochs um NSA und FBI mit ihrem unüberschaubaren Netz an privaten Söldnerfirmen” (F.A.Z., 14 Jun 2013)] might consider themselves not constrained by updated EU data protection rules, Reding’s proposed economic penalties of up to 2% of their international annual gross on companies that incorrectly share EU residents’ sensitive data might have a better deterrent effect on nonshadowlands companies.

(Eh Oo   DOT en shoots ray form.)

One thought on “EU-Datenschutzreform

  1. Pingback: Lobbyplag | German WOTD

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