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InfoLawUpdate - European Parliament approves EU Data Protection reforms

Burnetts' information law solicitor Natalie Ruane discusses the European Parliaments approval of EU data protection reforms.

On Wednesday 12th March 2014 the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly on the draft version of a new ‘Data Protection Regulation’. The European Commission hope that the new EU data protection regime will allow citizens of the EU to have greater control as to what happens to their personal data and will make it easier for businesses to operate throughout the EU. The draft regulation has attracted substantial criticism with some far-reaching changes being proposed. Some of the proposed reforms include;

  • Harmonising the law amongst EU Member States so that the provisions of the Regulation could be applied EU-wide;
  • Companies operating EU wide would be subject to a single data protection authority;
  • Companies with more than 250 employees would need to appoint a data protection officer;
  • New rights such as the ‘right to be forgotten’ would be introduced;
  • Fines of up to 5% of a company’s global worldwide annual turnover (original proposal contained a 2% fine);
  • Simplification of the procedures for transferring personal data outside the European Union.

The next steps will be for the proposed regulation to be approved by the Council of Ministers (who represent the governments of the 28 Member States).

About the author

Natalie Ruane profile photo

Natalie Ruane

Natalie is a Partner and leads the Employment Law & HR team and specialises in education.

Published: Thursday 3rd April 2014
Categorised: Information Law

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