December 19th, 2012 - Global online networks will soon be challenged with new rules for the processing of personal data. The EU is leading the discussion with its new initiative: "European Data Protection Regulation". What does this mean for the big networks such as Facebook, Google etc? And what are the results for Canada and the USA? Our expert Dr. Colin Bennett is available for comments.
Once again the European Union (EU) is leading an elaborated discussion on economic and global dimensions of the existing data protection initiatives and the potentials for the online single market. Last month at the third annual European Data Protection & Privacy Conference in Brussels, the Vice-President of the European Commission delivered a speech and explained why there is a need for a profound change to give individuals more control over information related to them and on how to protect citizens' data rights due to technological and global changes and the opportunity to boost (online) business at the same time.
Privacy has risen in importance as an economic and political issue.The need for directions on how data can safely be collected, accessed and used was already established 18 years ago, when the EU adopted a directive on data protection for its Member States to regulate the processing of personal data within its boarders.
Early this year, the EU Commission made a new proposal and drafted the "European Data Protection Regulation" in order to strengthen consumer protection/ privacy rights and to lead Europe's digital economy.
Canada and USA have been watching these discussions closely in the meantime. The results of these debates will establish the rules for the processing of personal data on global networks for many years to come.
Dr. Colin Bennett is an expert in the field of data protection and has written extensively about this topic. His latest article "The Geo-Politics of Personal Data" was published in Harvard International Review. Dr. Bennett joined the Europe Canada network just recently and is available for media requests this week.