New strategy for data protection in the European Union

Author:Intellectual Property Group
Profession:Stikeman Elliott LLP

Yesterday, the European Commission released a draft strategy for the protection of individuals' data entitled "A comprehensive approach on personal data protection in the European Union". The strategy is the result of public and stakeholder consultation throughout 2009 and 2010. While the protection of personal data is currently a hot topic, this strategy is not the first time the European Commission has addressed issues of data protection and electronic privacy. In 1995, the European Union release the Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC), which was a milestone in the EU's protection of personal data. The Directive, however, has struggled to keep up with the rapid pace of technological advancement, particularly in the area of social media.

The new strategy appreciates the challenges of modern technology and recognizes that the protection of electronic information cannot be seen as a purely national concern. The strategy focuses on the strengthening of individual rights, through the provision of control and autonomy over...

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