Digital Single Market – Commission strengthens trust and gives a boost to the data economy

The European Commission proposed today updated legislation to ensure stronger privacy in electronic communications as well as policy and legal solutions to unleash EU’s data economy, as foreseen in the Digital Single Market strategy presented in May 2015. The package will additionally include new data protection rules for EU institutions and set out the Commission’s strategic approach to the issues concerning international transfers of personal data. First Vice-President Timmermans said on the data protection initiatives: “Our proposals will complete the EU data protection framework. They will ensure that the privacy of electronic communications is protected by up to date and effective rules, and that European institutions will apply the same high standards that we expect from our Member States.” Vice-President for Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip said on data economy: “In Europe, data flow and data access are often held up by localisation rules or other technical and legal barriers. If we want our data economy to produce growth and jobs, data needs to be available and analysed. We need a coordinated and pan-European approach to make the most of data opportunities, building on strong EU rules to protect personal data and privacy.” The proposal for ePrivacy Regulation aligns the rules for electronic communications with the new world-class standards of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation. Meanwhile, the Communication on achieving the European data economy is addressing unjustified restrictions to the free movement of data across borders as well as several legal uncertainties and prepares the ground for next steps.