EU Proposes Storing Personal Data From Digital Currency E-Commerce In The Union

A Committee of the European Parliament has recently proposed amendments to a regulation including online purchases using digital currencies such as bitcoin. Calling for customer data from such transactions to be stored in the EU, the goal is to protect consumers, it says.

Also read: Europe Lays Out Roadmap to Restrict Payments in Cash and Cryptocurrencies

The Purpose of the Regulation

The proposal was written by the European Parliament’s Committee on EU Proposes Storing Personal Data From Digital Currency E-Commerce In The UnionIndustry, Research and Energy (ITRE). The 38-page report was published last week with amendments to a regulation by the European Parliament and the Council. ITRE is responsible for technology-intensive manufacturing, information technology, and telecommunications.

The regulation to be amended addresses “geo-blocking and other forms of discrimination based on customers’ nationality, place of residence or place of establishment”. The stated aim of the regulation is to ensure that customers and traders are not discriminated against.

Storing Personal Data at Centers in the EU

In the section of the report concerning digital currencies, the Committee urges the European Commission to consider a legal framework to protect consumers “when the transaction is carried through alternative modes of payment, including virtual currencies, other blockchain type transactions and e-wallets”. Specifically, the Committee proposed:

The personal data created by the e-commerce transactions should be stored in data centres in the Union, regardless of the location that the seat of the payment company is incorporated.

There is only one exception to the Committee’s proposal, which is for data controllers to get certified under the new EU data protection rules. Adopted last April, these rules referred to as the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679).EU Proposes Storing Personal Data From Digital Currency E-Commerce In The Union

The new data protection rules enter into force on May 25, 2018. They apply to all foreign companies processing data of EU residents. “This innovation will particularly affect non-European Internet service providers”, wrote Michele Papa of Martini Manna law firm about the regulation.

While the new rules are supposed to provide for a harmonization of data protection regulations throughout the EU, they are costly and have strict penalties. Infringements of the Regulation’s provisions are subject to administrative fines up to €20,000,000.

EU’s Other Proposed Restrictions on Digital Currencies

EU Proposes Storing Personal Data From Digital Currency E-Commerce In The Union
Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission

The EU has been active lately proposing regulations that apply to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

The Commission introduced an action plan last February for fighting terrorist financing, which includes a provision on reducing anonymity associated with digital currencies. In July, it proposed making exchange platforms and wallet providers monitor suspicious digital currency transactions. Last month, the Juncker administration said fighting against money laundering and terrorist financing, which includes cryptocurrencies, is among its priorities. Two weeks later, the Commission laid out a roadmap to restrict payments in cash and digital currencies. This latest proposal adds to the list of EU’s attempt to reign them in.

What do you think of this new EU proposal? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and European Parliament


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  • Tom Mornini

    It’s odd that they’d require personal data to be stored for purchases in the only types of currency that can be used without any personal data.

    To the extent that personal data is stored for cryptocurrency transactions, then I suppose this makes sense.

    • Paul Dunne

      Hmm maybe this applies to btc exchanges, not actual purchases with btc? Though if one btc address starts buying things, merchants and marketers will find a way to track whenever it is active, and any associated delivery accounts. Data will be created.

      • Tom Mornini

        With any modern wallet, tying consecutive purchases to a single identity can only be done probabilistically.

        And various cryptographic enhancements are being developed to make Bitcoin purchases more private—up to and including fully anonymous.

  • grapesodabanked

    The Evil Union is nothing but a small minority of dumb Nazis and communists who declared themselves the kings of Europe against the will of society. They aren’t elected. They aren’t supported. They aren’t legitimate. Nobody wants them here and nobody wants to pay for these parasites. They’re honestly just criminal filth.

    Europeans have been great at dealing with megalomaniacal crooks and fascist trash like this before. I say we go back to the way Europeans dealt with uppity kings and emperors in the past. It’s way overdue.

  • Zlatko Sucic

    This is just naive attempt to control flow of the money. They wanna track who is avoiding paying taxes! In the end, all companies will move to Liberland, pay taxes as they please and use crypto currencies without any restrictions.

  • antesithe

    Ridiculous. This is why the EU is no longer wanted by the European citizens. What is next? A European ID and electronic registration whenever anyone uses cash? Whatever happened to the notion that everyone is innocent until proven guilty? I’m sick and tired of these Eurocratic parasite control freaks. Get out of my life!