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Decent outcome reached on agreement on data protection reform


16 Dec 2015



Last night the Council of the European Union, the European Commission and the European Parliament reached an agreement to finalise the EU data protection reform. GUE/NGL Coordinator on the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee,Cornelia Ernst, responds:

"I am glad that an agreement on personal data protection in Europe was finally reached. In spite of the unprecedented lobbying against all improvements to the reform, we have now achieved a decent outcome."

"Important progress has been made, in particular with the introduction of principles such as 'privacy by design', 'privacy by default', and the prohibition of transfers of data to foreign intelligence services when there is no treaty in place. I particularly welcome that henceforth tough penalties for breaches of data protection may be imposed on offending companies; penalties of up to 4 per cent of their annual global turnover.

"Unfortunately, my demand that users' consent to data processing that is not necessary should be explicit, instead of just unambiguous, could not be sustained.

"Likewise, data processing operations that are in the so-called legitimate interests of a data processor continue to be regulated under a regime that is too weak.

"However, overall, I am satisfied with the result in which the Luxembourg Presidency has also played a constructive role. The rules of data protection for the next 20 years are now set," Ernst concluded.


GUE/NGL Press Contact:

Nikki Sullings  +32 483 03 55 75

Gay Kavanagh  +32 473 84 23 20

European United Left / Nordic Green Left

European Parliamentary Group