The European Commission on Wednesday presented a new “comprehensive” reform on data protection rules. This to replace the current laws that came into force back in 1995.
Brussels wants to give people more control over their personal data by introducing the controversial “right to be forgotten”.
Under the proposed law, people can ask companies to delete information that they hold about them. Companies who don’t comply could face fines of up to 2% of their annual turnover.
Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said that having a single set of rules for the entire European Single market will save businesses more than 2 billion euros per year and that it will boost confidence in online services.
Businesses critical of the reform have described this proposal as a “tax” for companies that work with people databases.
Consumer groups are cautiously optimistic and believe the new rules can be effective if they take consumer rights into account while retaining flexibility to respond to new technologies, especially in social media.