[ec] Whether we want it or not, almost every day we share personal data about ourselves. These data are collected, processed and then stored out of our sight. By booking a flight ticket, transferring money, applying for a job or just using the Internet we are exposing our private lives to others. Sometimes it is necessary. For example we declare our income to allow the State to collect taxes. Sometimes we give our personal data because we simply chose to do so. For example we give our address to a seller to receive new offers and discounts. But sometimes we do not want to show our data. Still, data are being collected without our consent and often without our knowledge. This is where European law comes in.
It is my firm belief that we cannot expect citizens to trust Europe if we are not serious in defending the right to privacy . We need to ensure that personal data are protected against any unauthorised use and that citizens have the right to decide on the way their data are processed. Privacy and the protection of personal data have always been high on my list of priorities as the Commissioner for the Information Society.
Viviane Reding Member of the European Commission responsible for Information Society and Media Privacy: the challenges ahead for the European Union Keynote Speech at the Data Protection Day 28 January 2010, European Parliament, Brussels