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Commission plans personal data protection campaign

European Commission justice commissioner Věra Jourová plans to launch a campaign to encourage people to take their personal data protection more seriously, Euractiv has reported.10 May 2017

While companies have come to recognise the importance of protecting their customers' data, the customers themselves underestimate the threats, Jourová told Euractiv Czech Republic.

The problem is particularly acute in in Central and Eastern Europe, she said, and people do not pay enough attention to their personal data protection.

"I will launch a massive information campaign by January at the latest. It should tell people about the new rights that the data protection reform brings to them," Jourová said.

"I do not want people to be paranoid. I just want them to know who is handling their data and what he or she will do with their data. I want people to give really conscious consent that can be withdrawn if they so wish," she told Euractiv.

The Commission and individual EU countries need to teach people how to complain and what their rights are, Jourová said.

Jourová was responsible for negotiations on the EU-US Privacy Shield, a framework designed to facilitate the transfer of personal data between the EU and US by businesses. The framework was put in place last year to replace a previous system which was effectively invalidated by the EU's highest court in 2015.

A review of the Privacy Shield is due to take place in September.

Jourová visited the US last month to discuss the framework with US secretary of commerce Wilbur Ross, Euractiv reported.

"I explained to him that Privacy Shield is essential for American and European business, because there have been such huge data flows from the EU to the US. And these flows must be secured," Jourová told the news site.

"I have not observed any data protection problems so far," she said.