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EU Data Protection

EU reforms how companies can handle your personal data

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By John McCarthy, Opinion Editor

April 14, 2016 | 2 min read

EU data protection will under see a major overhaul as the result of a vote in the European Parliament.

Looking to give citizens more control of their personal data, the newly passed General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) aims to share with individuals how their personal data is processed by those in receipt of it.

The new rules include provisions on the right to be forgotten, the right to transfer your data with "clear and affirmative consent" and more, looking to clean up some data protection laws as old as 1995.

For four years, MEPs have worked on the bull that looks into how companies store personal data, something that is increasingly becoming a commodity in the age of targeted advertising.

One change is the amount companies can be fined for failing to follow the new rules, with a maximum of four per cent of the company’s global turnover.

Jan Philipp Albrecht (Greens, DE), who helped lead the legislation through Parliament, said: “The general data protection regulation makes a high, uniform level of data protection throughout the EU a reality.

“This is a great success for the European Parliament and a fierce European 'yes' to strong consumer rights and competition in the digital age. Citizens will be able to decide for themselves which personal information they want to share.

"The regulation will also create clarity for businesses by establishing a single law across the EU. The new law creates confidence, legal certainty and fairer competition.”

EU Data Protection

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