Personal data-protection to be promoted on Safer Internet Day

06.02.2012 - 17:17

The Safer Internet Day, an initiative to promote a safer digital world co-ordinated across Europe by INSAFE, the network of Safer Internet Centres, will be taking place on 7 February.

INSAFE is funded by the European Commission through the €55 million Safer Internet Programme. More than a 100 events in 30 European countries are scheduled to help both children and adults to explore the cyber world. Over 70 countries worldwide are celebrating the Safer Internet Day as part of a global drive to promote safer Internet for children and young people.

This year’s Safer Internet Day campaign comes only a few days after the European Commission’s proposal of a comprehensive reform of the European Union’s 1995 data-protection rules to strengthen online privacy rights and boost Europe’s digital economy.

Though the basic principles of the 1995 rules are by no means obsolete, the recent rapid technological developments and globalization have brought about new challenges for data protection.

According to the latest EU online survey, 77% of 13-16 year olds and 38% of 9-12 year olds in Europe who use the internet say they have a profile on a social networking site, and only 26% of social network users feel in complete control over their personal data.

The Commission’s proposal focuses on reinforcing the internet users‘ rights, by helping people better manage data-protection risks online; ensuring a high level of data protection in all areas, including police and criminal justice co-operation; ensuring proper enforcement of the rules as well as setting global data-protection standards.

For the average user, this means more control over personal data with the right for the users to decide to delete their data and the strengthening of national data protection authorities. The goal of the proposal is to strengthen the user’s trust when browsing the web or  shopping online, creating more demand and thus stimulating the internal market.