Following the end of roaming charges across the European Union last year, holidaymakers are now able to travel with their online TV, film, sports, music or e-book subscriptions at no extra cost.
An outline of benefits for the European traveller issued by the European Commission for the holiday season adds details of the data protection rules that ensure better protection for Europeans’ personal data.
“This summer you will be able to bring your favourite TV programmes and sports matches with you wherever you travel in the EU,” said EC vice-president Andrus Ansip. In addition, he added, by end 2018 people would also be able to buy festival tickets or rent cars online from all over the EU “without being geo-blocked or re-routed”.
Commissioner for the Digital Economy Mariya Gabriel added: “We are improving the daily life of our citizens, be it end of roaming charges or safer online environment. By completing all our digital initiatives, we will bring even more positive change to consumers and businesses alike.”
Digital rights already in daily use
- Since June 2017, people have been able use their mobile phones while travelling in the EU just like they would at home, without paying extra charges. Since the EU abolished roaming charges, more than five times the amount of data has been consumed and almost two and a half times more phone calls have been made in the EU and the European Economic Area.
- Since April 2018, consumers can access online content services they have subscribed to in their home country also when travelling across the EU, including among other films, series and sports broadcasts (see examples in factsheet).
- Under the new data protection rules which have been in place across the EU since 25 May 2018, Europeans can safely transfer personal data between service providers such as the cloud or email; everyone now has the right to know if their data has been leaked or hacked, or how their personal data is being collected. Furthermore, with the ‘right to be forgotten’, personal data has to be deleted upon request, if there are no legitimate reasons for a company to keep it.
- Finally, with the net neutrality rules applying since spring 2016, every European has access to open internet, guaranteeing their freedom without discrimination when choosing content, applications, services and information of their choice.
The Commission adds that, from September, Europeans will have increasingly the right to use their national electronic identification (eID) across the whole EU to access public services.
As of December, everyone will benefit from the free flow of non-personal data, as they will have access to better and more competitive data storage and processing services in the EU, thus complementing the free movement of people, goods, services and capital. Entrepreneurs meanwhile will have the right to decide where in the EU they store and process all types of data.
As of 3 December, Europeans will be able to shop online without unjustified discrimination wherever they are in the EU. They will not have to worry about a website blocking or re-routing them just because they – or their credit card – come from a different country.