The European Convention On Human Rights

1978 Words8 Pages
With a number of recent high profile court rulings and a major new Regulation in the works, data privacy has become a cause célèbre within the European Union (EU). The size and connectivity of the European market means that shifts in its regulatory framework ripple with major consequences for global business. The EU’s latest attempts to legislate in this area are a consequence of shortcomings in the design and implementation of the existing system of data collection, retention and safeguarding. While the existing system was designed to protect the private sphere from state intrusion, it ultimately created a system that punishes business. Background After World War Two, the protection of individual rights became a central pillar of the…show more content…
Measures intended for the protection of privacy morphed into a lever against the private sector in tax compliance and foreign investment. Impact of Enforcement and Harmonization The 1995 Directive gave the EU institutions considerable power over the Member States. Every Member State was required to create a Data Protection Authority (DPA) to monitor compliance with data protection legislation. The DPAs enjoy extended access to a large part of business’ information, handle claims from customers or agencies, and initiate legal action against non-compliance. While this may increase consumer feelings of security relative to businesses, it comes at the cost of privacy relative to the government. Financial institutions face a heavy set of regulations to fully comply with the Directive. International monetary transfers from the EU are covered under the Directive in Article 25 since such transfers concern EU citizens’ data. These transfers are specially scrutinized because of privacy concerns in other countries. However, many Member States, worried about the economic effects of creating obstacles for foreign companies, allow the transfers to occur even when they suspect a violation. While some transfers require only the consent of the individual whose data is being transferred, others must be part of approved Standard Contractual Clauses or require
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