On the 4th of March, Vice-President Reding made an intervention in the Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting in Brussels. She highlighted the importance of the proposed reforms on the Data Protection Regulation and elaborated on the international aspects, pseudonymisation, the Right to Data Portability, controllers and processors, and profiling.
The international aspects concern the tools available to ensure that foreign companies operating with data of EU citizens apply the same rules as EU companies. “This is about creating a level playing-field between European and non-European businesses. About fair competition in a globalized world” Ms. Reding said. She embraced the concept of peudonymisation as it protects the identity of the data subject but at the same time, guarantees that businesses can profit from available information.
On the Right to Data Portability, Vice-President Reding had this to say: “The right to the portability of personal data in the private sector is an essential element of the proposal. Citizens should be able to transfer their data from one service provider, such as a social network, to another – just as they are able to keep their mobile number when changing telecoms operators. Choice drives competition. Data portability empowers citizens to decide what happens to their data and grants them tangible rights vis-à-vis businesses. It gives them real control over their personal data. This approach integrates the development of the online environment without encroaching on the technological neutrality of the Regulation.”
On profiling, an important issue to Ecommerce Europe, Ms. Reding stated: “The current Directive does not prevent the creation of profiles of individuals as such, but it ensures that citizens will not be the subject of automated decision based on the profiles which could have negative consequences for them. This regime should be continued in the Regulation.”
Ecommerce Europe supports the idea that there should be an updated legal framework on data protection. We advocate the need to a balanced approach to data protection that creates trust online and facilitates a fruitful business environment. Ecommerce Europe knows that the stakes on data protection are high and that the content is sensitive. Therefore, we stress that lawmakers deal carefully with this matter and no rushed decisions should be made.