The European Commission (EC) has set out a strategy to strengthen European Union data protection rules.
The Commission strategy on how to protect individuals’ data in all policy areas includes law enforcement, while reducing red tape for business and guaranteeing the free circulation of data within the EU.
The Commission will then propose legislation to protect individuals’ information in order to revise the EU’s 1995 Data Protection Directive in 2011.
According to the Commission, the new legislation will seek to strengthen individuals’ rights so that use of personal data is kept to a minimum so that users have the "right to be forgotten", enhancing the single market dimension by reducing the administrative burden on companies and ensuring a level playing field, revising data protection rules in the area of policy and criminal justice to protect the individual, as well as ensuring high levels of protection for data transferred outside the EU and a more effective enforcement of the rules.
The EU data protection rules (the 1995 Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC) aims to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of natural persons, and in particular the right to data protection, as well as the free flow of data.
The sharing of personal data is a hot topic at the moment with social network website Facebook becoming the subject of investigation recently over how it stores and uses personal data.
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