New data protection rules for the police and criminal justice sector apply as of 6 May

As of 6 May, new data protection rules for law enforcement authorities will apply.  The new Data Protection Directive will allow police and judicial authorities to exchange information necessary for investigations and prosecutions more efficiently based on common high data protection standards.

This will contribute to the EU’s Agenda on Security, further improving cooperation in the fight against terrorism and other serious crime in Europe. Commissioner Vĕra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, said: “This directive makes sure that our police and judicial authorities can exchange data smoothly in time to keep our citizens safe. At the same time the personal information of victims, witnesses or suspects of a crime will be adequately protected. This set of rules ensures both fundamental rights and security and strengthens mutual trust between Member States.” The Directive creates a harmonised set of rules on how personal data can be used by law enforcement authorities throughout the EU. The rules ensure that suspects, victims, and witnesses will have their fundamental right to personal data protection properly upheld. Individuals will also have the right to ask police and criminal justice authorities for access to their data. The Commission will work closely with those Member States who have not finalised transposition yet to make sure the important new rules are implemented swiftly. These new rules were agreed by the European Parliament and the Council in December 2015 (see press release). The Law Enforcement Directive (also known as the “Police Directive”) is part of the Data Protection Reform along with the General Data Protection Regulation – due to apply across the EU as of 25 May. You’ll find more information on the Law Enforcement Directive in a factsheet and online on our pages dedicated to data protection.