In this age of internet, smartphones and social media, it is very easy to share and search for personal information. Maybe too easy. Your loan application could be rejected because you live in the wrong neighbourhood, photos you publish online may come back to haunt you and supposedly free websites earn their keep by selling and using your personal data. The EU is now working to overhaul its data protection rules to help people stay in control of their private information.
Current EU legislation was drafted back in 1995 and needs updating to keep pace with technological change. The European Commission proposed in 2012 a new regulation on a single set of rules for all data collected online to ensure it is kept safe and also to provide businesses with a clear framework for processing them.
The European Parliament is now working on the proposed regulation as well as on a directive on data processing in law enforcement. The aim is to adopt the legislation before the next European elections in spring 2014.