December 16, 2015 Last Updated 8:26 am

European Parliament, European Council reach agreement on EU data protection reform

The European Parliament and European Council have reached an agreement on a new General Data Protection Regulation.

“Today’s agreement is a major step towards a Digital Single Market,” Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, said. “It will remove barriers and unlock opportunities. The digital future of Europe can only be built on trust. With solid common standards for data protection, people can be sure they are in control of their personal information. And they can enjoy all the services and opportunities of a Digital Single Market. We should not see privacy and data protection as holding back economic activities.”

The agreed upon reform consists General Data Protection Regulation will enable people to better control their personal data, and the Data Protection Directive for the police and criminal justice sector.

Enhancing privacy and data protection policies, mechanisms and tools for EU citizens is an obligation of the EU policy maker,” said Udo Helmbrecht, cExecutive Director of ENISA. “ENISA welcomes the new General Data Protection Regulation, which gives greater role and enforcement powers to national competent authorities and reinforces the EU citizens’ right to data protection. An important element of this agreement, often underestimated, is its potential to provide a competitive advantage to EU industry by adopting privacy and data protection as its core value.”

The final texts of the agreement will be formally adopted by the European Parliament and Council at the beginning 2016, with the new rules to go into effect two years after being approved.

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