Privacy Seal – on its Way from Kiel to Europe

EuroPriSe Project launched - Kiel, 07 June 2007

Role model for the project is the Privacy Seal (Datenschutz-Guetesiegel) Schleswig-Holstein. The legally based privacy certificate, yet unique within Europe, has successfully been established particularly on the German market since the year 2000. In the meantime, it has been awarded to approx. 40 products. In the future, the European Privacy Seal is to certify that IT products and services comply with European legislation, in particular with the 1998 Data Protection Directive. The project is funded with EUR 1.2 million by the European Commission within its eTEN programme. The involved parties pursue the concept to feature IT products and services of a high privacy protection standard with a certificate to make them visible for consumers and people concerned. Thus, citizen-friendly, data-minimising and technically secure products, e.g. within internet services, the health sector, or during customer data processing, gain a competitive advantage over unexamined competitors.

The Minister for Economics of Land  Schleswig-Holstein, Dietrich Austermann, declared at the project’s kick-off meeting:

“Without IT security and privacy protection, there is no consumer or business protection within the net, and covert and open criminal spying-out of people and enterprises, profiling by combining various databases and specific harassment or criminal offences to their disadvantage cannot be prevented. The Privacy Seal combines requirements from privacy protection and IT security with those from consumer protection and product-related promotion of competition. Instruments such as the voluntary Privacy Seal are always more attractive and more efficient than coercive measures producing acts of defiance.”

Dr. Thilo Weichert, head of ICPP/ULD:

“We experienced that there is an international demand and a need for privacy-examined products. In view of the opacity of data processing, consumers need comprehensible examinations by trustworthy and competent independent institutions according to recognised standards. This is to be offered by the Privacy Seal.”

Together with ICPP/ULD, project partners are:

  • Agencia de Protección de Datos de la Communidad de Madrid, Spain
  • Borking Consultancy, The Netherlands
  • Commission Nationale de l`Informatique et des Libertés, France
  • Ernst & Young AB, Sweden
  • Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Institut für Technikfolgenabschätzung, Austria
  • London Metropolitan University, United Kingdom
  • TÜViT, Germany
  • VaF s.r.o, Slovakia

Definition of validation criteria and procedure as well as the elaboration of consistent privacy protection standards operation with the privacy and data protection authorities in Europe. The project will support the establishment of the Privacy Seal instrument both in European legislation and particularly within national privacy and data obligation by the German legislator in 2001 to introduce an auditing procedure has not been implemented until today.

European Privacy Seal

The EU Commission has assigned a consortium of eight European organisations and enterprises lead by the Independent Centre for Privacy Protection Schleswig-Holstein (ICPP/ULD) to compile requirements for a European Privacy Seal and to test them exemplarily. The project "European Privacy Seal" (EuroPriSe) was launched today by Dietrich Austermann, Minister for Economics of Schleswig-Holstein, at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce Schleswig-Holstein (IHK).