Data Protection and PNR: Freedom and security go hand in hand for EU citizens

14.04.2016 10:08

Data Protection and PNR: Freedom and security go hand in hand for EU citizens

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Views expressed here are the views of the national delegation and do not always reflect the views of the group as a whole
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Today the European Parliament adopted three legislations: the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the related Directive with regards to the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences, and the EU Passenger Name Record (PNR). Viviane Reding commented: "There can be no freedom without security, and no security without freedom. Today's concomitant adoption of these three legislations sends a strong signal that national security and data protection can and must go hand in hand".

Viviane Reding welcomes the long-overdue adoption of the reform of EU data protection rules she initiated in January 2012: "This is a historic day for Europe. This reform belongs to our common history as much as to the future of our continent. This reform provides new opportunities for businesses and new rights for citizens[1]. This reform will restore trust in digital services today, thereby reigniting the engine for growth tomorrow. I am proud to have put forward and relentlessly fought for this ground-breaking legislation that will become the cornerstone of the European Digital Single Market."

Regarding PNR, she added: "PNR is an important tool to track terrorists flying in and out of Europe in a much wider toolkit, which should also include the systematic sharing of information in all EU databases. However, PNR could have been more efficient if some national governments had not favoured the creation of 28 databases over a single 1 and a voluntary scheme over a binding one."

The former Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship concluded: "Faced with the transnational nature of the digital revolution and the fight against terror, EU-wide rules are the only solution to our problems. Today, Europe shows that it can deliver results and that it is serious about striking the right balance between individual’s rights and public interest."

[1] European companies will substantially benefit from the replacement of 28 national legislations by a single set of rules and from the levelling of the playing field based on the uniform application and enforcement of those same rules on all companies operating in Europe. European citizens will benefit from the reinforcement of the protection of their personal data, including their right to be forgotten, to give consent, to object and to data portability. Both will take advantage of the one-stop-shop.

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