Category Archives: European Commission

Last week the European Commission formally approved Israel's data protection laws as being adequate for the purposes of the Data Protection Directive (see link to the Commission's decision here). Data protection and privacy in Israel is overseen by the ILITA (the Israeli Law, Information and Technology Authority) which has the power to investigate and intervene in cases where it suspects a breach of data protection and privacy laws has occurred. Formal approval effectively confirms a decision made by the EU back in October 2010 (see Datonomy's previous post here) to add Israel to the list countries whose data protection laws have been deemed by the EU to be sufficiently strong enough to protect personal data to a level that is equivalent to protection afforded by EU Member States. Prior to the decision the only countries that had been approved by the EU were Switzerland, Argentina, the Bailiwick of … Continue Reading ››
On 3 June 2010, the European Commission warned Finland that the Finnish Data Protection Law may infringe the Data Protection Directive (Directive 95/46/EC) because it does not protect personal tax information published in the media. This will lead to an amendment of the Finnish Personal Data Act in the near future. The Commission referred to the case considered by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and the Supreme Administrative Court of Finland, where a company had annually published the tax data of 1.2 million persons in a local newspaper and transferred such data to another company on a CD to be processed in connection with a chargeable SMS service. Section 2.4 of the Finnish Personal Data Act states that the Act does not apply to personal data files containing, solely and in unaltered form, data that has been published by the media. Additionally, according to Section 2.5 of the Personal Data Act, … Continue Reading ››
On 28 October 2010, the European Commission decided to refer Austria to the Court of Justice for its lack of independent data protection authority (see press release IP/10/1430). The Commission deemed that provisions setting up the so-called Data Protection Commission (Datenschutzkommission) do not conform to EU rules, which require Member States to establish a completely independent supervisory body to monitor the application of Directive 95/46/EC ("Data Protection Directive"). Even though the Austrian Data Protection Act 2000 (Datenschutzgesetz 2000) sets forth that the members of the Data Protection Commission shall be "independent and not bound by instructions in the exercise of their duties", the Commission considers that “complete independence,” as required under Article 28 para 1 of the Data Protection Directive, is not guaranteed. The Commission alleges that the Data Protection Commission remains under the supervision of the Federal Chancellor because it is integrated into the Chancellery in terms of its organisation and staff … Continue Reading ››
With so many UK developments to report on recently, Datonomy has only just caught up with this important announcement from the European Commission about the wider picture – namely the long-awaited reform of Directive 95/46/ EC. It forms part of a recent speech by Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission on "Next Steps for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship in the EU".

Datonomy readers may remember the Commissioner's previous announcement back in January which we reported here.
That was somewhat light on detail as to the proposed content and timetable for the revised Directive. The Commissioner's latest speech does not go a great deal further on the specifics, but here is the key extract (with points of particular interest highlighted):

"On privacy and data protection I have initiated the process leading up to the reform and modernisation … Continue Reading ››

The European Commission has launched a consultation on the legal framework for the fundamental right to protection of personal data.
Short, sweet and online, it seeks views on three very broad issues:

  • new challenges for data protection, in particular in the light of new technologies and globalisation;
  • whether the current legal framework meets these challenges; and
  • what future action is needed to address such challenges.

The deadline for responding is 31 December 2009.

Datonomy readers will remember that the recent ICO - commissioned report by RAND has some thoughts on these issues. Datonomy readers will no doubt have a few suggestions of their own...

What effect will official encouragement by the European Commission have upon social networking? This vital and informal mode of information-sharing has now received the blessing of Viviane Reding, the Commissioner for Information Society and Media (CISM), in a speech on social networking which is the first public statement of the Commissioner on this subject. The speech was given at the Safer Internet Forum (details of the Minister's speech available via press release here). According to the press release, social networking sides also have started to raise new issues with regard to data privacy and protection of minors. That's why they are now on the agenda of the Safer Internet Forum.