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ARTICLE
Commission steps up personal data safeguards to strengthen police and judicial co-operation in the fight against terrorism and organised crime
Extract
Faced with organised crime and terrorism which are increasingly operating across borders, the European Commission has presented new proposals to reinforce the protection of personal data and allow for a more effective exchange of information between national law enforcement agencies. These proposals for a framework decision on the protection of personal data processed in the framework of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters - together with a recent proposal on the retention of data by communication providers -reflect the Commission’s overall approach of strengthening international co-operation to ensure security and protection for citizens while at the same time safeguarding fundamental freedoms, particularly the right to privacy and data protection. […] The Commission reiterates that police services and judicial authorities of the Member States in their cooperation in criminal matters have to be supported by decisive action at EU level. At the same time, the Commission is aware of the increasing quantity of the information exchanged and of new technologies and channels that are used in order to make such exchange quicker and more effective. It is therefore important to have adequate rights of the data subject. Strict rules on confidentiality and security of processing, judicial remedies, liability as well as on sanctions are important elements of the proposed framework decision. Strong, efficient but also cooperative supervisory authorities are equally needed. […] In the Proposal particular attention has been paid to the principle that personal data are only transferred to those third countries and international bodies that ensure an adequate level of data protection. The proposed Framework Decision provides for a mechanism aiming at EU wide compliance with this principle. Derogations are only possible in very exceptional cases, notably in order to prevent imminent serious danger threatening public security or specific persons. […] Source : IP/05/1220, Brussels, October 4- 2005. 7 octobre 2005
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