EU Needs 'German Standards' on Data Privacy
"In response to the recent disclosures of the U.S. National Security Agency surveillance programmes, German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said EU data privacy rules should be as strict as those found in Germany. ""High German data protection standards should be the rule,"" she said. ""U.S. companies that do not uphold these standards should be banned from the European market."" Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, who has strongly criticized the scope of the U.S.' spying programme, noted that it should not be intelligence services that set the standards for data protection but rather ""citizens' basic rights."" The EU is currently updating its data privacy legislation with the draft rules under scrutiny in the European Parliament. ""If a European data security sphere is to be created, then it needs stronger parliamentary control over secret services and regular, intensive information exchanges between supervisory committees,"" said Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger. In Germany, where data privacy is highly valued, the issue has moved onto the political agenda ahead of elections in September."