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Europe demands right to be forgotten

Brussels lays ground rules for data protection

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The European Commission is setting out what it wants to see in the next generation of data protection principles for citizens across the community.

The Commission, which is already taking the British government to court for its failure to properly protect our privacy, has outlined what it sees as the main issues which need addressing.

Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Justice, said: "The protection of personal data is a fundamental right. To guarantee this right, we need clear and consistent data protection rules. We also need to bring our laws up to date with the challenges raised by new technologies and globalisation."

The Commission will propose legislation next year to improve individual's rights while also making it easier to share data within Europe. Any laws will include results of the Commission's recent public consultation on the matter.

The Commission proposes:

Stronger rights for individuals. People should be clearly told what information is stored on them and why, and by whom. They should also have the "right to be forgotten" - to get their data deleted.

By making data protection standard between countries the burden for companies which need to transfer data between nations will be reduced.

Revising the disparate laws governing data sharing between police forces and other criminal justice bodies.

Making sure data exported from the EU is still properly protected.

Making sure the relevant laws are actually enforced.

The Commission will accept comments and suggestions from the public until 15 January 2011.

Go to this page to tell the Commission how to improve data protection and privacy laws. ®

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