Paolo Soro

Cybersecurity and free flow of non-personal data in the EU

State of the Union 2017: Commission scales up its response to cyber-attacks and proposes a framework for the free flow of non-personal data in the EU

Following the State of the Union speech by President Jean-Claude Juncker on 13 September, the Commission has today unveiled a wide-ranging cybersecurity package that aims at equipping Europe with the right tools to deal with cyber-attacks. To unlock the full potential of the EU data economy, the Commission has also proposed a new set of rules to govern the free flow of non-personal data in the EU.

In his address, President Jean-Claude Juncker stated: "In the past three years, we have made progress in keeping Europeans safe online. But Europe is still not well equipped when it comes to cyber-attacks. This is why, today, the Commission is proposing new tools, including a European Cybersecurity Agency, to help defend us against such attacks."

Recent figures show that digital threats are evolving fast: since the beginning of 2016, more than 4,000 ransomware attacks have occurred worldwide every day, a 300% increase since 2015, while 80% of European companies have been affected last year. Studies suggest that the economic impact of cybercrime rose fivefold from 2013 to 2017, and could further rise by a factor of four by 2019.

The Commission proposed to reinforce the EU's resilience and response to cyber-attacks by strengthening the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA), creating an EU-wide cybersecurity certification framework, a Blueprint for how to respond to large-scale cybersecurity incidents and crises, and a European Cybersecurity Research and Competence Centre.

Today's proposals further include a new Directive on the combatting of fraud and counterfeiting of non-cash means of payment to provide for a more efficient criminal law response to cyber–attacks crime, as well as a Framework for a Joint EU Diplomatic Response to Malicious Cyber Activities and measures to strengthen international cooperation on cybersecurity.

The new rules to govern the free flow of non-personal data in the EU will, together with the already existing rules for personal data, enable the storage and processing of non-personal data across the Union to boost the competitiveness of European businesses and to modernise public services in an effective EU single market for data services.

Removing data localisation restrictions is considered the most important factor for the data economy to double its value to 4% of GDP in 2020.

Source: EU Commission News

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