The European Union is planning to implement stricter legislation for protection of personal data regarding the social media platforms and e-mail providers such as Facebook and Gmail.

EU Commissioner Věra Jourová has asked the social network’s management to make an official statement about the latest scandals for misuse of personal data.

“I want Facebook to further explain. For example, to what extent European consumers are affected”, the Commissioner said.

The US administration and the responsible departments have assured the EU that they “take all the accusations seriously and they are working on the preparation of the necessary measures”.

At the same time, the “European response” must be given by the relevant data protection authorities in Europe. “This scandal must be a warning for all of us. The way we use personal data can lead to major consequences”, Jourová said.

“For all leaders, it was clear that the privacy and data of our citizens must be fully protected. We take this matter very seriously”, Donald Tusk added.

He called for compliance and implementation of European and national legislation in this regard.

According to the draft proposal, authorities could impose fines of at least 4 per cent of turnover. At present, consumer protection authorities in the EU can only impose small fines and some have no powers to impose sanctions against companies in this area at all.

This is a new example of the stricter rules in the EU for technological giants after reports that the consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica has abused the data of more than 50 million Facebook users in an attempt to influence the US presidential election (in 2016), as well as the referendum in UK, which led to Brexit.

The proposal aims to extend the application of EU consumer protection legislation covering “free” digital services for which consumers provide their personal data instead of paying money – such as cloud data storage, social media and e-mail.

In April 2016 the ЕU Parliament adopted a Regulation concerning the respect for private life and the protection of personal data in electronic communications. With it, the maximum amount of a fine, which could be imposed on infringements of the data protection legislation, has become EUR 20 million. However, more and more precise rules are needed when it comes to electronic data and consumer’s online behaviour.