European Commission adopts draft mandate to negotiate umbrella data protection agreement with the US.

According to the Commission,

      The transfer or processing of personal data by EU or US authorities would only be permitted for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes in the framework of fighting crime and terrorism;

     There would be a right to access one’s personal data and this would be enforceable in courts;

      There would be a right to have one’s personal data corrected or erased if it is found to be inaccurate.

       There would be an individual right of administrative and judicial redress regardless of nationality or place of residence.

The agreement would not provide the legal basis for any specific transfers of personal data between the EU and the US. A specific legal basis for such data transfers would always be required, such as a data transfer agreement or a national law in an EU Member State. The new EU-US data protection agreement would then apply to these data transfers.

The draft is currently pending approval of the EU’s rotating presidency, after which negotations can start. Commissioner Reding will present the draft mandate both to the EU’s current Spanish Presidency and the European Parliament next week. On 3 and 4 June the EU justice ministers will meet in Brussels to meet to discuss Commission proposal. An agreement might be concluded in the course of 2011.

Observers say the talks ‘mark a U-Turn in the bloc’s approach to EU-US terror investigations’.

EU progress report on the single European electronic communications market
The document states that

In line with the Digital Agenda and the measures it outlines on spectrum, universal service, the regulatory treatment of NGAs [next generation access networks] and privacy, the Commission will also take a number of targeted measures:

(1) to address the divergences in regulatory approaches and the lack of timely and effective enforcement of remedies;

(2) to lay solid foundations for a correct and timely implementation of the revised regulatory framework and;

(3) to ensure an effectively functioning Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC).

Commission press release here. Explanatory summary here.

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