Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/07/21/ec_data_outline/

Europe outlines snoop laws

What you need to know, about what they need to know

By John Oates

Posted in Government, 21st July 2010 08:53 GMT

The European Commission has outlined what information is swapped across borders and how and why it is stored.

Cecilia Malmstrom, Commissioner for Home Affairs, said people should know what information is stored about them and why.

The overview aims to provide an understanding from which a wider review can come. It outlines the principles under which data should be stored with respect to rights to privacy and protection of personal data.

This process could include new regulation for cross-border data exchanges and an obligation for gathering organisations to provide an annual report. The Commission is also considering a sunset clause - a timescale for when data should be deleted.

The European Commission is taking the British government to court for repeatedly failing to take data protection and privacy seriously.

The Commission has already warned the government to provide its citizens with proper protection as required under European law. It now has less than two months to fix the situation or find itself in front of the Court of Justice.

The full statement is available here.

In entirely unrelated news from Europe - Happy Birthday Belgium!

It is the low-lying land's 180th birthday today and a national holiday. The country's first king took the throne on 21 July 1831. More here. ®