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The Importance Of Data Protection In The Eu: A Critical Reflection

1057 words - 5 pages

Introduction of Data Protection Directive

As the humanity progressed, technology has had an enormous impact on the society for two centuries. In the last 20 years alone, our world has changed radically with the emergence of the internet. The ease of gathering information at a global level led to the emergence of new laws design to protect natural persons. Therefore, data protection is a third generation fundamental right included in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, a legally binding document in the EU since the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon in December 2009. In the article 8 of the Charter it is stipulated that personal data must be fairly processed and ...view middle of the document...

The directive also defines the principles under which personal data can be processed. If these three categories: transparency, legitimate purpose and proportionality are not met than personal data should not be processed at all.

As the Directive is a legislative act setting out goals that each Member State must implement accordingly, in Article 28 it is stipulated that each Member State must set up a special, independent supervisory authority that will monitor all data protection and start legal actions when data protection has been violated. Additionally, complaints about violation may be addressed to the supervisory authority .
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Shortcomings in the Directive

The Directive was proposed almost 20 years ago and in the light of recent industry developments, it is only normal that a number of issues are outdated. As mentioned before, the Directive is supposed to be a strong, legal framework set out to protect the privacy of individuals and in the same time sustain the development of a digital environment. However, this framework delivers a poor level of compliance. There are clearly many aspects left out that are confusing and unclear for both data controllers and natural persons. This situation might stem from the simple fact that for the parties involved it is difficult to understand and apply in practice the rules set out to help assess a strong level of data protection.

Critique #1

The Directive that was transposed in the Member States at the end of 1998 is not well-known by the parties involved. According to a Eurobarometer survey published by the European Commission in February 2013, this does not come as a surprise as EU citizens are mostly aware of their rights within the Union being

most familiar to the rights of free movement (88%) and to petition EU institutions (89%) .

With regard to the protection of personal data, many of us don’t necessarily question the process of gathering, processing or dissemination of personal data to third parties as long as no fundamental problems rise from these actions from which natural or legal persons could suffer. To give...

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