Europe Boosts Potential Costs of Data Breaches
Data breaches could cost companies significant fines under new data protection rules approved this week by the European Parliament. The regulations, which take effect 20 days after publication in the EU Official Journal, include “the right to know when your data has been hacked,” along with provisions that enable consumers to transfer their data to another service provider, “the right to be forgotten”—that is, having one’s name disappear from search engine results under certain circumstances—and “ensuring that privacy policies are explained in clear and understandable language,” according to a statement from the European Union.
The penalty for breaking those rules? Fines of up to 4 percent of the offending company’s global revenue.
“The general data protection regulation makes a high, uniform level of data protection throughout the EU a reality. This is a fierce European ‘yes’ to strong consumer rights and competition in the digital age,” said Jan Philipp Albrecht, a Green party member from Germany, who steered the legislation through the European Parliament, in a statement.