The new laws set to overhaul data protection practices in Europe
Once again, data protection regulation is in the spotlight this month. The EU is attempting to introduce laws that will clamp down on how our personal data is used, particularly by businesses and intelligence agencies. But according to Civil Liberties Committee chairman, Jan Philipp Albrecht MEP, arguments from Germany, France and the UK could delay the legislation into 2016. There are over 4,000 proposed amendments to the bill, after all. We look at why the legislation is so controversial, and what the consequences are for you.
In today’s digital economy, data is big business; the value of European personal data is estimated to grow to almost €1 trillion annually by 2020. The EU wants to establish a ‘one-stop-shop’ for data protection, arguing that this more streamlined approach will boost the European economy by €2.3 billion.
For businesses, the regulations could allow the EU to impose fines of up to €100 million, or 5% of their annual turnover (whichever’s biggest) if they don’t safeguard the information they’re processing adequately. They’d also have to complete a ‘data protection impact assessment’, investigating the effect of data usage on the rights and freedoms of their customers.
For individuals, the legislation will tackle issues you might be concerned about already. These include having easier access to your own data, gaining the ‘right to be forgotten‘, and needing to give explicit consent before a company can use your data. It also proposes that privacy settings should be set as private by default, rather than getting users to do this manually.