Europe-wide data protection legislation becomes law across Europe today allowing citizens to have greater control over how their data is stored and managed by third parties.

According to a press release Greens have been instrumental in pushing through the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) with German Greens/EFA Group MEP Jan Philipp Albrecht acting as the European Parliament’s rapporteur on the file.

Commenting on the news, European Green Party co-chairs Monica Frassoni and Reinhard Bütikofer said:

“Today marks a major victory for the rights of citizens to claim back ownership of their own data.

“For too long, citizens have been kept in the dark about where their personal data is stored and how it is being used or monetised.  This piece of legislation puts power back into the hands of citizens and paves the way for greater transparency and fairness online.

“GDPR marks an important shift in the way data is managed.  Instead of opting out of sharing data, users will explicitly be asked for consent before any data is collected.  It also includes a ‘right to be forgotten’ so citizens can ask for personal data held by third parties to be removed.

“Greens have been instrumental in pushing this legislation through, most notably through the dedication and doggedness of Greens/EFA MEP Jan Philipp Albrecht who was rapporteur on the file.  He succeeded in navigating a minefield of special interests from business lobbies and delivering an outcome in the interests of internet users everywhere.

“This piece of legislation also proves the EU’s ability to work together for big, ambitious change that directly improves the lives of its citizens and inspires on a global scale. We hope it can serve as a model to be rolled out globally.”