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Your data protection rights in Europe with Jan Philipp Albrecht MEP


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Your data protection rights in Europe with Jan Philipp Albrecht MEP

To discuss data protection in Europe, Euronews anchor Sophie Claudet spoke with MEP Jan Philipp Albrecht, who also serves as rapporteur for the EU’s general data protection regulation.


Sophie Claudet, Euronews: “With this new regulation, how will Europeans actually feel that their data are being better protected?”

Jan Philipp Albrecht MEP: “The improvement in substance is that there’s far more transparency under the new rules, which means that you will have more detailed information policies about what your data are processed for, which purposes if they are given to others, and there will be also in general more possibilities to get a view of which data are there about you. And you have new rights like data portability and the right to be forgotten. So it will be far easier for consumers to control their personal data.”


Sophie Claudet, Euronews: “How about privacy settings on social media?”

Jan Philipp Albrecht MEP: “If somebody designs a product, technology or service, then it needs to be the most privacy-friendly product. And when you are starting to use it, then the privacy-friendly setting – privacy by default – is on, and you have to decide if you want to give your data, if you want to change the setting to a less privacy-friendly setting.

“For example, with Facebook (or those companies) it’s important to see that they will have to comply with these new data protection rules, otherwise they will be sanctioned up to 4 percent of their yearly worldwide [turnover] and that can be billions in the case of a company like Facebook.”


Sophie Claudet, Euronews: “Yes, that’s a deterrent. Now, at the same time, European governments are passing very tough surveillance laws. So, should citizens be concerned about their own governments spying on them?”

Jan Philipp Albrecht MEP: “Absolutely. They should be concerned, and this regulation does not override the national security, or internal security laws of the member states, because that’s their business to take care [of]. But if member states regulate in this area, for example police and security, then they have to, of course, follow European law.

“And that’s not only this regulation, but that’s also the basic standard that in Europe every infringement of your data protection rights, of your privacy rights, have to be justified, have to be proportionate. The European Court of Justice also in December has judged on two of these laws – from the UK and Sweden – and said they are not in line with the fundamental rights of people.”


Sophie Claudet, Euronews: “You talk about the European Court of Justice, but it hasn’t said much about what France is doing under its state of emergency.”

Jan Philipp Albrecht MEP: “Because what France is doing there is in the area of national security. And the European Union still is not competent at all. Also the European Court of Justice has no competency to judge on the national security laws of EU member states. Still that doesn’t mean that France or other member states of the European Union can just infringe the fundamental rights of EU citizens indefinitely, because there’s still the European Convention on Human Rights from the Council of Europe and there’s the Strasbourg Court. And I am quite sure that there will be court cases coming up on the laws in France.”


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