Statement by Vice-President Ansip and Commissioner Jourová ahead of the entry into application of the General Data Protection Regulation

As of tomorrow, 25 May, new data protection rules will apply across the EU.

On this occasion, Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, said: “Europe’s new data protection rules will be a reality tomorrow. Europeans’ privacy will be better protected and companies  benefit from a single set of rules across the EU. Strong data protection rules are the basis for a functioning Digital Single Market and for the online economy to prosper. The new rules ensure that citizens can trust in how their data  is used and that the EU can make the best of the opportunities of the data economy.” Vĕra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, added: “Personal data is the gold of the 21st century. And we leave our data basically at every step we take, especially in the digital world. (…) Data protection is a fundamental right in the EU. The new rules will put the Europeans back in control of their data. (…) The rules are based on a risk-based approach. Companies that have been making money from our data, have more responsibilities. They should also give something back to the consumers; at least the security of their data. Companies, which do not process data as their core business activity, have less obligations and mainly have to make sure that the data they process are secure and used legally. They will also be rules with teeth. Everyone, especially those companies that monetise our personal data, will have an interest to play by the rules.”   On 6 April 2016, the EU agreed to a major reform of its data protection framework, by adopting the data protection reform package, comprising the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) replacing the twenty years old Directive. On 25 May 2018, the new EU-wide data protection rules are becoming applicable after a two year transition period. New rules to strengthen data protection in EU institutions, bodies and agencies were agreed by Parliament and Council negotiators yesterday, in the so-called ‘trilogues’. Tomorrow, Commissioner Jourová will open an exhibition on the General Data Protection Regulation at 10:00 at the Commission’s info point at Schuman roundabout; journalists are welcome to join for a photo-op. The Commission is then organising in the afternoon an event dedicated to the topic, where Commissioner Jourová and Andrea Jelinek, Head of Austria’s Data Protection Authority and Chair of the Article 29 Working Party, will deliver the keynote speeches. The full programme is available online and journalists can register per e-mail. The event will also be streamed online. The full statement is available online, as well as Q&As and factsheets.