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Shaping Europe’s digital future

Online privacy and safety

Common EU rules guarantee a high standard of privacy online. The EU is committed to ensuring citizens, and particularly children, are safe online.

    A group of people on laptops, phones and tablets with online privacy icons around them

© Image by metamorworks - iStock Getty Images


Each time we go online, we are entrusting our personal information to the websites we use and to the companies that provide us with the Internet. This information can range from our names and contact details, to our likes and dislikes, to our credit card information.

EU-wide rules can help protect our data when we browse the Internet. The EU is currently discussing new privacy rules that build trust and security online for the Digital Decade. The rules will give us greater control over our data and devices. And, they will update current ePrivacy rules to cover new forms of communication online.

New ePrivacy rules go hand in hand with other EU initiatives to ensure our privacy online. For example, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) ensures our personal data can only be gathered under strict conditions and for legitimate purposes.

A better Internet for children

Around one in three Internet users is a child. Children are accessing content online at younger and younger ages.

While there are excellent opportunities for learning and creativity online, there are also risks. Children may be exposed to fake news, cyberbullying, privacy breaches, harmful content and grooming.

The EU launched its Strategy for a Better Internet for Children (BIK+) with the aim of introducing specific measures for young people online.

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

  • 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


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The ePrivacy Directive and the General Data Protection Regulation help ensure digital privacy for EU citizens.