Com­plet­ing a trusted Dig­i­tal Sin­gle Mar­ket for the ben­e­fit of all

Ten days ahead of the en­try into ap­pli­ca­tion of the Gen­eral Data Pro­tec­tion Reg­u­la­tion, the Eu­ro­pean Com­mis­sion has pre­sented a set of con­crete actions that Eu­ro­pean lead­ers can take to pro­tect cit­i­zens’ pri­vacy and make the EU’s Dig­i­tal Sin­gle Mar­ket a r

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The Com­mu­ni­ca­tion pre­sented is the Com­mis­sion’s con­tri­bu­tion to the in­for­mal dis­cus­sions that EU lead­ers will hold in Sofia to­day.

The Com­mis­sion be­lieves that it is in the shared in­ter­est of all Mem­ber States to man­age the dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion by fol­low­ing the Eu­ro­pean ap­proach, which links in­vest­ment in dig­i­tal in­no­va­tion with strong data pro­tec­tion rules. This will al­low the EU to ef­fec­tively deal with the chal­lenges of an in­creas­ingly data-based global econ­omy.

Vice-Pres­i­dent An­drus An­sip, re­spon­si­ble for the Dig­i­tal Sin­gle Mar­ket, said: “Data is at the heart of our econ­omy and so­ci­ety. It needs to flow freely, to be safe and se­cure. The Eu­ro­pean Com­mis­sion has put for­ward all the pro­pos­als for a Dig­i­tal Sin­gle Mar­ket; it is now EU lead­ers who have the keys to un­lock dig­i­tal op­por­tu­ni­ties. This new reg­u­la­tory en­vi­ron­ment should go hand in hand with ma­jor in­vest­ments in ar­eas such as cy­ber­se­cu­rity, 5G, ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and high-per­for­mance com­put­ing.”

Věra Jourová, Com­mis­sioner for Jus­tice, Con­sumers and Gen­der Equal­ity, added: “The re­cent Face­book Cam­bridge An­a­lyt­ica rev­e­la­tions con­firm once more that the EU made the right choice to put in place strong data pro­tec­tion rules. Data har­vest­ing with the aim of ma­nip­u­lat­ing pub­lic opin­ion is un­ac­cept­able. We are proud to be set­ting the new global stan­dard for the pro­tec­tion of personal data. This is fun­da­men­tal for con­sumer trust in an in­creas­ingly dig­i­tal econ­omy and so­ci­ety.”

Mariya Gabriel, Com­mis­sioner for Dig­i­tal Econ­omy and So­ci­ety, said: “Hav­ing the right reg­u­la­tory frame­work in place is cru­cial to cre­ate trust and de­velop busi­nesses on­line. To­gether with the Gen­eral Data Pro­tec­tion Reg­u­la­tion, the ePri­vacy Reg­u­la­tion will se­cure our cit­i­zens’ elec­tronic com­mu­ni­ca­tions. In Sofia, EU lead­ers will have a unique oc­ca­sion to give de­ci­sive in­cen­tives on the re­main­ing key dig­i­tal pro­pos­als still in ne­go­ti­a­tions.”

Three years af­ter adopt­ing the Dig­i­tal Sin­gle Mar­ket Strat­egy, the Dig­i­tal Sin­gle Mar­ket has pro­gressed, with 12 leg­isla­tive pro­pos­als agreed by the Eu­ro­pean Par­lia­ment and Coun­cil out of the 29 tabled by the Com­mis­sion since May 2015. Ma­jor new laws on data pro­tec­tion, cy­ber­se­cu­rity, and the end of mo­bile roam­ing charges are ei­ther al­ready in place or will be in a mat­ter of days or weeks. Mem­ber States must now en­sure these agreed rules work in prac­tice.

Strength­en­ing the pro­tec­tion of personal data in the EU

Gen­eral Data Pro­tec­tion Reg­u­la­tion: Two-thirds of Euro-

peans say that they are wor­ried about hav­ing no con­trol over the in­for­ma­tion they pro­vide on­line, while half are con­cerned about fall­ing victim to fraud. The re­cent Face­book/Cam­bridge An­a­lyt­ica scan­dal has raised aware­ness that data could be mis­used if not prop­erly pro­tected.

Through the Gen­eral Data Pro­tec­tion Reg­u­la­tion cit­i­zens will be able to ben­e­fit from stronger pro­tec­tion of personal data through:

bet­ter con­trol over how personal data is han­dled by com­pa­nies and pub­lic ad­min­is­tra­tions alike, in­clud­ing the need for users’ clear con­sent for pro­cess­ing their personal data;

more clar­ity about the pri­vacy poli­cies of com­pa­nies;

swift no­ti­fi­ca­tion of harm­ful data breaches with­out de­lay.

Next steps: The Com­mis­sion is invit­ing EU lead­ers to en­sure that national au­thor­i­ties ur­gently put in place all the re­main­ing steps nec­es­sary to pre­pare for the ap­pli­ca­tion of the new rules in all Mem­bers States.

ePri­vacy Reg­u­la­tion: Along­side the Gen­eral Data Pro­tec­tion Reg­u­la­tion, the ePri­vacy Reg­u­la­tion pro­posed in Jan­u­ary 2017, cur­rently un­der ne­go­ti­a­tion in the Eu­ro­pean Par­lia­ment and the Coun­cil, is es­sen­tial so that the con­fi­den­tial­ity of Euro­peans’ on­line com­mu­ni­ca­tion is not breached. The new rules will ap­ply both to tra­di­tional tele­coms op­er­a­tors and on­line ser­vices, such as emails, in­stant mes­sag­ing or on­line voice ser­vices. This means that with­out users’ con­sent, no ser­vice provider would be able ac­cess the de­vices they use.

Next steps: The Com­mis­sion is urg­ing the Coun­cil to swiftly agree on its ne­go­ti­a­tion po­si­tion on the ePri­vacy Reg­u­la­tion, so that ne­go­ti­a­tions with the Eu­ro­pean Par­lia­ment can start by June 2018, with a view to the adop­tion by the end of 2018.

Nec­es­sary steps to com­plete a func­tional Dig­i­tal Sin­gle Mar­ket

Since the launch of the Dig­i­tal Sin­gle Mar­ket strat­egy in May 2015, the Com­mis­sion has de­liv­ered pro­pos­als for all 29 ini­tia­tives iden­ti­fied as es­sen­tial for a func­tional Dig­i­tal Sin­gle Mar­ket. The ben­e­fits are al­ready be­ing en­joyed by cit­i­zens, for in­stance through a four-fold in­crease in data use when trav­el­ling to other Mem­ber States thanks to the abo­li­tion of roam­ing charges. Al­to­gether the Dig­i­tal Sin­gle Mar­ket could con­trib­ute €415 bil­lion per year to our econ­omy and cre­ate hun­dreds of thou­sands of new jobs.

In par­tic­u­lar, the Com­mis­sion is invit­ing EU lead­ers to dis­cuss and give their strate­gic ori­en­ta­tion with a view to:

Mo­bil­is­ing the nec­es­sary pub­lic and pri­vate in­vest­ments to de­ploy ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, 5G con­nec­tiv­ity net­works, high-per­for­mance com­put­ing.

En­sur­ing that the Reg­u­la­tion on free flow of non-personal data, de­signed to fur­ther de­velop the Eu­ro­pean data econ­omy, is agreed by co-leg­is­la­tors by June 2018.

Sim­i­larly, the Elec­tronic Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Code, aim­ing at boost­ing in­vest­ment in high­speed and high-qual­ity net­works across the EU, should also be fi­nalised by June 2018.

Help­ing Mem­ber States equip Euro­peans with the dig­i­tal skills they will need in to­day’s and to­mor­row’s dig­i­tal econ­omy and so­ci­ety.

More gen­er­ally, all other pend­ing Dig­i­tal Sin­gle Mar­ket pro­pos­als should be agreed by the end of 2018, in line with the call of the Eu­ro­pean Coun­cil of Oc­to­ber 2017. These in­clude, for in­stance, the mod­erni­sa­tion of EU copy­right rules to pro­tect creators on­line bet­ter and fa­cil­i­tate the ac­cess to Eu­ro­pean works across bor­ders.

The EU has al­ready put an end to mo­bile roam­ing charges in the EU and al­lowed Euro­peans to travel across the EU with their on­line sub­scrip­tions for films, TV se­ries, video games, mu­sic, sport pro­grammes or ebooks.

Since 9 May 2018, Mem­ber States have to ap­ply the first EUwide leg­is­la­tion on cy­ber­se­cu­rity – the Di­rec­tive on Se­cu­rity of Net­work and In­for­ma­tion Sys­tems – which will be com­pleted by a wide-rang­ing set of mea­sures for stronger cy­ber­se­cu­rity in the EU. This in­cludes a pro­posal for an EU Cy­ber­se­cu­rity Agency to as­sist Mem­ber States in deal­ing with cy­ber-at­tacks, as well as a new Eu­ro­pean cer­ti­fi­ca­tion scheme that will en­sure that prod­ucts and ser­vices in the dig­i­tal world are safe to use. As of De­cem­ber 2018, thanks to new rules against un­jus­ti­fied geoblock­ing, con­sumers will no longer face bar­ri­ers when buy­ing prod­ucts or ser­vices on­line within the EU. For busi­nesses, this means more le­gal cer­tainty to op­er­ate cross-bor­der.

In April 2018, the Com­mis­sion de­liv­ered all the re­main­ing Dig­i­tal Sin­gle Mar­ket actions and no­tably pre­sented a Eu­ro­pean ap­proach for the fu­ture of ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, mea­sures to tackle dis­in­for­ma­tion on­line, in­clud­ing an EU-wide Code of Prac­tice on dis­in­for­ma­tion, as well as con­di­tions for fair­ness and trans­parency in the on­line plat­forms econ­omy de­signed to lead to an in­no­va­tion­friendly en­vi­ron­ment for EU busi­nesses.

In par­al­lel, the Gen­eral Data Pro­tec­tion Reg­u­la­tion was adopted in De­cem­ber 2015 with a twoyear tran­si­tion pe­riod to al­low Mem­ber States and their au­thor­i­ties to be fully ready when it en­ters into ap­pli­ca­tion on 25 May 2018. In Jan­u­ary 2018, the Com­mis­sion also pub­lished guide­lines to fa­cil­i­tate the ap­pli­ca­tion of the new data pro­tec­tion rules across the EU.

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