Monday, September 24 15:47:33
European Commission Vice-President, Viviane Reding, is in Dublin this week discussing, among other things, how the EU can help protect people's data and what companies should be doing.
Speaking in Dublin today she noted that 65pc of Irish citizens are worried about the way companies handle their personal data.
"People need to have control over their data. After all, their data belong to them."
"One single set of data protection rules for Europe will make the digital single market work for the tech-giants and help drive economic growth. This will be central to making Ireland even more welcoming for business," she said.
Responding to developments in the use of the internet for social and business needs, the Commission has proposed an overhaul of EU data protection rules.
Ireland will have a key role in negotiations: it is home to many tech giants and Ireland also takes over the six-month stewardship of the European Union in January 2013.
Vice-President Reding was speaking in Dublin at a meeting with a wide range of Irish stakeholders in the sector.
Last January, Vice-President Reding put forward an overhaul of the EU data protection rules to bring them into the modern age.
The changes will give people more control over their personal data and make it easier to access, correct or delete their data. Personal information should be protected - no matter where it is sent or stored - even outside the EU, as may often be the case on the internet, she said.
"The reform will put people in control of their own personal data by reinforcing the 'right to be forgotten', meaning that data are deleted when someone no longer wants their data to be available and when there is no good reason for businesses to keep it. It will make no difference where you live, or where the server or headquarters of a company is located because one European rule will apply in all 27 EU countries. This also means more legal certainty and less costs for companies."
The Commission is also proposing a 'one-stop-shop' for data protection that will make Europe - and Ireland - an even more attractive place in which to do business. This will do away with the present costly arrangement in which companies have to deal with 27 different regulators. And it means that unnecessary reporting requirements for companies will also be removed. Overall, the reform is expected to save businesses in Europe E2.3 billion a year.