Thursday the European Union approved new data protection rules to help strengthen on line privacy, streamline legislation between the 28 member states, and boost police and security cooperation.
The rules will create a strong data protection law for Europe’s 500 million citizens, replacing an outdated patchwork of national rules that only allow for tiny fines in cases of violation. There will be a right to be forgotten, that means consumers can ask for non essential information to be deleted from web searches, such as Google.
The rules also state that individuals must give their clear and affirmative consent before private data is processed by companies or governments. The point became important after leaks two years ago showed supposed widespread US government snooping of European data such as phone calls and emails.
New rules also allow the streamlining of data transfers for policing and judicial purposes, improving security in the wake of the November 13th attacks in Paris which killed 130 people, along side last months suicide bombings in Brussels which left 32 people dead. Privacy has become a hot topic amid the pressure