Angela Merkel calls for stricter EU-wide data protection rules

Filed Under: Featured, Law & order, Privacy

Angela Merkel. Image courtesy of Daniel W/ShutterstockThe German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has called for tougher data protection rules within the European Union, as well as a far greater level of transparency from the larger internet companies like Facebook and Google.

During an interview aired yesterday evening, Merkel said that Germany wanted "the internet companies here in Europe, such as Facebook and Google, to tell us who they are giving the [personal] data to" and added that the country would take a "very firm stance on the issue."

Merkel's interview with German broadcaster ARD follows recent revelations about the US online surveillance program, known widely as PRISM.

Merkel, who has received much domestic criticism over her lack of decisive action to protect German people from foreign surveillance, also asked for German law to be observed:

"I expect a clear commitment by the US Government for the future - that you will observe German law on German territory. We are an affiliated partner. We are in a defensive alliance and must be able to rely upon each other."

Merkel said that despite Germany having great privacy laws, such as the Federal Data Protection Act, it still could not guarantee that its citizens' data could be protected. This, she said, was due to different laws applying to different companies depending upon where they were registered. For example, if a company was registered in Ireland then they would be subject to Irish law. She added:

"Therefore, we do need a unified European solution."

With the German people on both the east and west of the country aware of their country's surveillance history, this is a topic I'm sure they'll be following with interest.

Image of Angela Merkel courtesy of DanielW /


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2 Responses to Angela Merkel calls for stricter EU-wide data protection rules

  1. Charles L · 780 days ago

    We should all say thank you to the US break through all protections against information intruders because, if that is possible, then a lot other will be able to do the same, e.g. Ukraine, China, Russia, Cuba, Iran, N. Vietnam, , N. Korea, and cyper-crime-experts .

  2. Andrew · 780 days ago

    It is about time the politicians woke up to data protection.
    It is time to stop the US from spying for Data....
    well done Angela Merkel
    Now if our governments could understand the importance a lot better would the world be.
    If allies cannot be trusted what is the point of it all. people are entitled to their privacy

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About the author

Lee Munson is the founder of Security FAQs, a social media manager with BH Consulting and a blogger with a huge passion for information security.