28 January, 2011
Press release: Data Protection Day
ETNO calls for more harmonised data protection rules which reflect the evolution of the market and for the same rules to apply to all players: Only effective data protection will help the completion of the internal market, by building trust and confidence, and, only a truly internal market will enhance the protection of privacy, says ETNO on the occasion of the EU Data Protection Day.
Brussels - Only effective data protection will help the completion of the internal market, by building trust and confidence, and, only a truly internal market will enhance the protection of privacy, says ETNO on the occasion of the EU Data Protection Day.
High speed broadband access and 4th generation mobile communications networks are needed to respond to the exponential growth of online traffic and enable Europe to fully reap the benefits of the Digital Agenda. They will open up new opportunities for EU citizens and businesses, for example, creating and sharing digital content thanks to higher upload speeds, engaging in new forms of collaborative working online, taking advantage of e-health applications, etc.
Given the borderless nature of the online applications, a homogeneous protection of personal data is one of the key prerequisites for EU citizens to embrace innovative services and participate fully in a truly global Information Society.
In view of the forthcoming revision of the general Data Protection Directive, ETNO recalls that protection of privacy of EU citizens would only be ensured if a fully internal market is achieved.
A greater degree of harmonization should ensure that personal data can be transferred from one Member State to another and EU citizens can be sure that their personal data will be protected and handled correctly in the whole EU 27.
While the basic principles set out in existing EU legislation remain solid, data protection rules should also reflect the evolution of services and business models. “The rules on consent should reflect the dynamic nature of the online environment and should be flexible enough to allow the development of new services, connected with the greater personalization and increasing “mobility” of personal data”, says the Chairman of ETNO Executive Board, Luigi Gambardella.
In today’s globalized economy, cross-border data flows are more and more frequent and the current rigid EU rules applying to the transfer of data to third countries do not seem adequate anymore. With the development of services such as cloud computing, which involve several data controllers, international transfer of data rules should be made easier, especially for transfer of data within the same group of companies. Excessive administrative burdens on industry which do not provide real benefits for the users, such as lengthy notification procedures, should be removed.
Finally, Gambardella adds, “ETNO members call on the European Commission to seize the opportunity of the current review of the Directive to create a true “level playing field” for all businesses. All EU based and non-EU based online service providers that offer services which target European citizens, should benefit from the same level playing field, regardless of the geographical location or the economic sector of the service provider”.
For more information, please contact Thierry Dieu, ETNO Communications Manager Tel: (32-2) 219 32 42 Fax: (32-2) 219 64 12 E-mail:email@example.com