European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Věra Jourová, delivered a speech on 20 March 2019 at the 9th annual European Data Protection Conference which stressed that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an opportunity for businesses and individuals to build trust.
Extolling the benefits of robust data protection, Jourová stated that the GDPR has been a positive opportunity for businesses to review their data collection and retention practices. She referred to studies by Cisco and Deloitte which found that investment in privacy improves commercial advantage. Through amending data processing to comply with the new GDPR rules, Jourová said, businesses have been able to develop more trustworthy relationships with customers and commercial partners. She commented that the GDPR is “based on a modern approach to regulation that empowers users and rewards new ideas, methods and technologies.”
Jourová noted that at 10 months into the GDPR, with enforcement decisions now issued, “everyone” is focusing on how to apply the new rules. She highlighted practical tools the European Commission has developed to assist compliance, particularly aimed at small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs), and reinforced the vital importance of “forg[ing] a common EU approach.” With a strong emphasis on trade, Jourová’s speech as a whole made it clear that the Commission’s vision is to lead in and export a European-led model of data privacy.
Read the full speech here.