RC: Could you provide an overview of the main issues currently surrounding the data protection landscape in the EU? Why is there now a need for the Data Protection Directive to be updated?

Aaes-Jørgensen: The hot news right now is of course the political agreement reached on the new Regulation. The Data Protection Directive entered into force in 1995. The main issues surrounding the European data protection landscape in 1995 were different compared to the issues we see today. More specifically, in the last few years the focus on data protection and privacy has grown tremendously due to the rise of social media. In 1996, only around 10 percent of the Danish population used the internet – today more than 90 percent of the population has access to the internet at home. Private information is accessible in a way never seen before. By conducting a simple Google search on a person’s name, several pieces of information about that person will be revealed. The simplicity of collecting information actualises the right to have incorrect and irrelevant information deleted and, basically, the ‘right to be forgotten’ or have your electronic ‘footprint’ deleted.

Gallistru: The European landscape may well represent a challenge as well as a big opportunity. The consistent cross-board implementation of the Data Protection Regulation will set the grounds for a common mindset, based on standardised and recognised needs. Moreover, it will encourage a strengthened risk awareness and response resulting from the dynamic evolution of the technological environment. An additional factor is the increased perception of personal data treatment among data owners, who now demonstrate an increased awareness.

Jan-Mar 2016 Issue


Norrbom Vinding