Neither of these options is desirable. Citizens want services they can trust, and businesses want more happy customers. We all want unfair competitors to be deterred from playing against the rules. To restore trust in the digital market, the EU is working on a new data protection regulation. It will replace the member states’ 28 different laws by a single directly applicable law, giving legal certainty across Europe’s digital market. This will dramatically simplify compliance with data protection rules. We suggest reducing bureaucratic burdens when they do not directly serve users in exercising their rights. We also insist there should be heavy fines to deter wrongdoers.
High standards for data protection are a condition for growth and innovation in the digital market. Many of the most successful new services businesses in Europe already today implement privacy-by-design principles and apply for data protection and data security seals. Economic growth and fruitful competition will depend on clear rules and strong respect of citizens’ rights. In a post-Snowden world, this will be a strong competitive advantage for Europe.