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Shaping Europe’s digital future

Online Privacy and Safety

Common EU rules guarantee a high standard of privacy online. Our safety and the safety of our children online is a top priority for the Commission.

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When we access the Internet, we are entrusting our personal data to the websites we use and to our internet providers. We need to be sure that this data is protected, and cannot be used without our consent.

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) ensures our personal data can only be gathered under strict conditions and for legitimate purposes. It goes hand in hand with ePrivacy rules to protect our communications online.

The Commission will increase protection for our privacy online by:

  • harmonising privacy rules across the EU
  • enhancing protection of individual rights in electronic communication
  • outlining that collecting data from users requires consent
  • ensuring privacy legislation is compatible with GDPR
  • strengthening enforcement powers for breaches of privacy rules

The Commission’s Strategy for a Better Internet for Children introduced specific measures for young people online. Around one in three internet users is a child. While there are excellent opportunities for learning and creativity online, there are also risks. Children may be exposed to fake news, cyberbullying, privacy breaches, exposure to harmful content and grooming.

To create a better internet for children, the Commission has set the following goals:

  • encourage more creative and educational content for children
  • foster awareness and empowerment through digital literacy and online safety courses
  • create a safe environment through age appropriate privacy settings and parental controls
  • tackle child sexual abuse and exploitation online