The EU’s commissioner-designate for the digital single market, Andrus Ansip, has backed calls for stronger net neutrality as well as more robust privacy rules to prevent eavesdropping on users’ personal data. “I will enshrine the all-important principle of net neutrality into legislation,” said Ansip during his three-hour hearing before MEPs. “The internet has to stay open and inclusive,” he added, echoing comments made last week by the incoming EU digital economy commissioner Guenther Oettinger.
Turning to the question of personal data, Ansip suggested the EU could suspend safe harbour agreements with the US if American policy makers don’t take steps to strengthen online data protection. “Americans have to deliver and provide real trust to European citizens,” he said, adding that “if we don’t get clear answers, suspension has to stay as an option.” However, he also warned that the right to be forgotten ruling should be applied only on an exceptional basis rather than indiscriminately. “The European Court of Justice did not say that everybody has the right to be forgotten. ‘Right to be forgotten’ has to stay as an exception,” he said.