European Privacy Day: latest news

Today – January 29, 2019 – is the European Day for the Protection of Personal Data established in 2007 by the Council of Europe with the support of the European Commission and all European Privacy Authorities.

The occasion allows to take stock of the latest news after the entry into force of the European Regulation 2016/679.

The first piece of news is that since May 25, 2018 the complaints submitted to the data protection authorities were about 95,000, a significant number.

Most of the complaints concern mainly telemarketing activities, promotional e-mails and video surveillance.

This shows that European citizens are more aware of the importance of their personal data and this obliges companies to pay more attention in the processing of personal data.

This is demonstrated by the second piece of news: the €50 million fine imposed on Google for failing to comply with the principles of EU law in relation to information requirements and consent for personalized advertising. The fine was imposed by the French authority after examining two complaints submitted by two consumer organizations immediately after the entry into force of the GDPR.

The third and final piece of news concerns Japan’s adequacy decision.

Negotiations for the adoption of the decision started last September and saw the participation of the European Data Protection Committee as well as the representatives of the individual member states gathered in a specific committee. Additional rules have been defined to bridge the gap between the two systems with particular regard to the processing of special categories of personal data, the exercise of the rights of data subjects and the conditions under which data of European citizens may be transferred from Japan to another third country.

The adoption of this decision is part of the goals of extending and facilitating the free movement of data in order to support trade, while maintaining a high level of protection for the personal data of European citizens.

The real result is that the entry into force of the Regulation has changed everyone’s attitude towards privacy, which has become more critical and aware but has also raised the attention of third countries with positive consequences for trade flows and benefits for European citizens.