COM(2007)0087, follow-up of the Work Programme for better implementation of the Data Protection Directive

European Commission


Directive 95/46/EC set a milestone in the history of the protection of personal data as a fundamental right, down the path paved by Council of Europe Convention 108. Pursuant to Article 33 of the Directive, the Commission's First report on its implementation concluded that, although no legislative changes were needed, work had to be done and that there was considerable scope for improvement in implementing the Directive.

The report contained a Work Programme for better implementation of the data protection Directive. This Communication examines the work conducted under this programme, assesses the present situation, and outlines the prospects for the future as a condition for success in a number of policy areas in the light of Article 8 of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights, recognising an autonomous right to the protection of personal data.

The Commission considers that the Directive lays down a general legal framework that issubstantially appropriate and technologically neutral. The harmonised set of rules ensuring ahigh standard of protection for personal data throughout the EU has brought considerablebenefits for citizens, business and authorities. It protects individuals against generalsurveillance or undue discrimination on the basis of the information others hold on them. Thetrust of consumers that personal details they provide in their transactions will not be misusedis a condition for the development of e-commerce. Business operate and administrations cooperatethroughout the Community without fearing that their international activities bedisrupted because personal data they need to exchange are not protected at the origin or thedestination.

The Commission will continue to monitor the implementation of the Directive, work with allstakeholders to further reduce national divergences, and study the need for sector-specificlegislation to apply data protection principles to new technologies and to satisfy publicsecurity needs.