1 Rapid technological developments and globalisation have brought new challenges for the protection of personal data. 2 The scale of the collection and sharing of personal data has increased significantly. 3 Technology allows both private companies and public authorities to make use of personal data on an unprecedented scale in order to pursue their activities. 4 Natural persons increasingly make personal information available publicly and globally. 5 Technology has transformed both the economy and social life, and should further facilitate the free flow of personal data within the Union and the transfer to third countries and international organisations, while ensuring a high level of the protection of personal data.