EC urges unity on data protection

Differing approaches to tackling data security by national regulators create weaknesses for criminals to exploit, says the EC's vice president
Written by Tim Ferguson, Contributor

The European Commission is intent on boosting data security and raising awareness around the protection of personal information.

Speaking at the Microsoft Innovation Day in Brussels on Tuesday, vice president of the European Commission Franco Frattini, said: "We must dramatically improve people's awareness of these crimes. Better data protection would also have a positive impact on consumer trust in cyberspace."

Frattini added: "We fully support the development of privacy-protection technology. I think privacy and protection of personal data is a long-term goal."

Frattini said differences in the way the issue is tackled by national regulators need to be reconciled, as they currently create weaknesses that criminals can exploit. He also referred to the rise in phishing, saying there are now around 31,000 known websites providing phishing toolkits for criminals to exploit.

"New technology brings new challenges, but technology can also help us tackle these problems," added Frattini.

Also speaking at the event in Brussels, the European commissioner for information society and media, Viviane Reding, said the software industry has a large role to play in Europe. She said: "The main significance of software is that it's everywhere. That is why the software industry has an importance that goes beyond the industry per se."

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