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Protecting consumers’ privacy by design and by default


26 Jan 2012


Health & Consumers

“ANEC welcomes the proposal of the European Commission, unveiled today, to strengthen the personal data protection of all consumers, including children”, said ANEC Secretary-General, Stephen Russell.

He added, “ANEC has fought long and hard for the principle of ‘privacy by design and by default’ to be applied to the protection of personal data. Hence, we are delighted to see this principle enshrined in the proposal. Systems where consumers need to take conscious decisions to maintain their privacy present greater risks than those where privacy is built-in. Moreover, we welcome the intention of the Commission to mandate Data Protection Impact Assessments, and to take particular measures towards the protection of children”.

During the consultation on the revision of the Data Protection Directive, ANEC also called for consumers to be given a right to data-portability and interoperability. “For example, data-portability becomes key in use of cloud computing services”, noted Mr Russell. “As far as interoperability is concerned, migration of data can be ensured through standardised data formats. We are pleased our proposals have been reflected by the Commission.”

ANEC also welcomes the new provisions on the notification of personal data breaches to consumers, something already mandatory in the electronic communications field. These were discussed today, at the Computers, Privacy and Data Protection (CPDP) 2012 conference, as they enact consumers’ right-to-know and raise awareness of personal data security in the industry.

However, ANEC is concerned at measures intended to encourage industry self-regulation. Chiara Giovannini, ANEC Research & Innovation Manager, commented, “We are not certain self-regulation is the best way to ensure data protection rules are applied to technological developments. We note in particular that existing provisions on self-regulation have rarely been used so far”.


ANEC in brief

ANEC is the European consumer voice in standardisation, representing and defending consumer interests in the process of standardisation and certification. ANEC was set up in 1995 as an international non-profit association under Belgian law and represents consumer organisations from the 27 EU Member States and 3 EFTA countries and Croatia. ANEC is funded by the European Union and the EFTA Secretariat, while national consumer organisations contribute in kind. Its Secretariat is based in Brussels.

More information:

Contact person at ANEC: Chiara Giovannini

Tel: +32(0)2 743 24 70



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