Parliament and the Council are set to embark on informal talks to come up with a compromise on a reform of data protection rules. Although MEPs already adopted their position in March 2014, member states have only agreed an approach now. We talked to German Greens/EFA MEP Jan Philipp Albrecht, who will be leading negotiations on behalf of Parliament, what the benefit of the new rules will be for consumers and companies and what issues still need to be resolved.
Current data protection regulation dates back to 1995 and new rules are needed to keep up with the digitalisation of services, commerce, communication and our everyday lives in general. More and more of our personal data is collected and we have little control over how it is used.
"Data is cross-border by nature,” said Albrecht, explaining why we need this reform. "We have to have common rules and have a unified legal system to create a single level playing field for all the companies and trust for the consumers in the European single market.” The reform would also benefit ordinary people as they would be "better informed and make decisions more consciously".
Albrecht stressed that several important issues still needed to be worked out with the Council, such as the need for consumers to give consent for the use of their data, the duties of data controllers and what fines should be imposed on companies that break the rules. The Council asks for up to 2% of companies' annual turnover, however Parliament is calling for 5%.
Watch the video for the full interview.