European Data Protection Reform

After the vote on the data protection reform in the European Parliament last month, the Council of Ministers is now in charge of continuing the negotiations.

The previous Council discussions focused primarily on the territorial scope of the proposed Regulation, and the rules surrounding international transfers of data to third parties. The Ministers confirmed their support of the proposed territorial scope provisions, which aim to create a “level playing field” as to data privacy standards for all companies, regardless of their geographical establishment, by ensuring that non-European companies doing business within the Single Market would adhere to the same strict data privacy standards as European companies.

The next meeting of Justice Ministers on the data protection reform will take place in June so there is still room for manoeuvre for businesses willing to express their position and made their voice heard.

The process is not likely to go into the next stage of the so called “trialogue” negotiations until the moment the Council of Ministers has reached a common position on the legislative text. So far, the Council of Ministers has resisted moving to a quick agreement due to the underlying conflicting points of view between the Member States. The Council may appear to be taking a more pragmatic approach and limit itself to promoting the EU Digital Agenda and continued growth in the digital marketplace. It therefore has been voiced that the Council will refer to the conclusions of the European Summit to support its position.

SMEs Compliance Motivations:

A survey conducted by PDP (Privacy and Data Protection) showed why smaller organizations are concerned about data protection.

SMEs listed the top reasons why they complied with data protection law and 60% stated that it was because of concerns about receiving fines. A similar number stated that it was to avoid receiving adverse publicity. 80% said that they wanted to make public that they took compliance seriously.

For further details please access the April 2014 Newsletter: Apr-14-newsletter

Mike BradfordThis update was provided courtesy of Mike Bradford BIIA’s expert on Privacy and Regulatory Affairs.Mike can be reached at Regulatory Strategies Ltd www.regulatorystrategies.co.uk  or Email: mike.bradford@regulatorystrategies.co.uk