Thursday

20th Feb 2020

EU wants data protection bill by May 2014

  • Reding wants the EU data protection reform completed by May 2014 (Photo: ec.europa.eu)

The European commission wants legislators to speed up the data protection bill currently stuck in the European Parliament’s civil liberties committee.

The regulation and its adjoining directive aim to protect the personal data of EU citizens from abuse by creating a single uniform EU-wide law.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or join as a group

EU commissioner for justice Viviane Reding on Monday (15 July) issued an appeal for member states to place the bill on the agenda of an EU summit in autumn.

“I would find it helpful if the European Council in October, which will deal with the European single market, could address this matter and speed up the work in the Council on this important file,” she said.

Reding is pushing to get the data package completed before the European Parliament elections in May 2014.

The package has suffered a number of delays in the parliament as MEPs in the civil liberties committee debate the details of some 4,000 amendments.

Their orientation vote, which recommends how the euro-deputies should vote once the bill hits the plenary floor, was initially scheduled earlier this year.

The orientation vote is now provisionally set for mid-October.

Reding’s appeal follows German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s call for stronger EU-wide data protection rules.

Merkel on Sunday said US companies based in Ireland like Facebook and Google must explain to what extent they share the personal data of EU citizens with US authorities.

The fall-out over the revelations by the Guardian newspaper on the extent and scale of the US-led snooping operations like Prism has caused public uproar in Europe and put Internet and tech giants on the defensive.

Facebook in June announced that it received between 9,000 and 10,000 user data access requests from government entities in the US in the last six months in 2012.

The social media giant wants US authorities to ease restrictions to better inform its users on the types of requests they receive and how they respond.

Meanwhile, European Commission officials are reviewing two pre-existing data transfer agreements with the US in parallel to the trade negotiations in Washington.

They are checking if the US respects the conditions outlined in the passenger name record and the Swift agreements.

A clause entitles either side to terminate the agreements with a six-month notice.

Home affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom had already issued a warning in a letter to the Americans that both agreements are at risk if the review reports fail to impress the data protection safeguard concerns of the European Parliament.

The reports should be ready in the Autumn.

An EU official close to the issue said both agreements are in danger because of Prism.

The review meetings kicked off last week amid “a profound mistrust” between the EU and US, he noted.

Interview

Facebook, Skype challenged in EU over spy affair

A group of Austrian students have challenged the EU-based subsidiaries of Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Skype and Yahoo on data privacy following revelations that they allowed US intelligence services to search to Europeans' data.

EU data watchdog to investigate Prism scandal

EU data regulators will carry out their own investigation into whether privacy rules have been breached by secret US surveillance programmes, according to the bloc's privacy experts.

Exclusive

Balkan spies 'feed' EU's police database via Czechs

Western Balkan secret services have handed over more the 250 alerts on suspected foreign terrorist fighters since last summer - fed into the EU's police database by the Czech Republic, according to a confidential document seen by EUobserver.

New EU public prosecutor has four staff for 3,000 cases

Laura Kovesi who heads the new European Public Prosecutor's Office, tasked to tackle fraud linked to VAT, money laundering, and corruption across the EU, warned she is dangerously understaffed and underfunded.

News in Brief

  1. EU unveils white paper on AI and data strategy
  2. Dutch court rules against Russia in €46bn Yukos case
  3. Britain to bar 'Polish plumber-type' migrants
  4. Greece seeks EU help to get back classical statues from UK
  5. HSBC to cut 35,000 jobs worldwide
  6. Regions chief appeals against cutting EU cohesion funds
  7. Verhofstadt criticises UK Brexit negotiator
  8. Turkish court acquits Gezi park activists

Polish 'LGBTI-free zones' not ok, says EU commission

The European Commissioner for equality Helena Dalli has said the distribution of 'LGBTI-free zones' stickers or the adoption of anti-LGBTI resolutions cannot be allowed. Some 86 towns in Poland have so far declared themselves 'LGBTI-free zones'.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersScottish parliament seeks closer collaboration with the Nordic Council
  2. UNESDAFrom Linear to Circular – check out UNESDA's new blog
  3. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December

Latest News

  1. EU leaders face major clash on rule of law budget link
  2. North Macedonia warns EU on 'dirtiest ever' election
  3. Western 'endarkenment' and the voodoo politics of Europe
  4. Warning of agricultural 'digital arms race' in EU
  5. Cayman Islands put on tax-haven blacklist after Brexit
  6. Boris' Brexit bluff? - UK will resist alignment to the end
  7. US still open to Kosovo-Serbia land swap
  8. EU countries enter final phase of budget talks

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us