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The EU Data Protection Congress Briefing

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When & Where?

The staff briefing will take place on Wednesday, June 6th.

It is scheduled to take place in the House of Representatives from 14.00-15.00. 

What does the new Data Protection Regulation entail?

Europe's proposed new regulation on data protection, which EU Commissioner Viviane Reding launched on January 25, promises comprehensive reform. Currently, each EU member state has its own system in place based on the manner in which it implemented the 1995 Data Protection Regulation. The new proposal will implement a single set of rules across the EU and will not require any further implementing measures by member states.

Key Changes Include:

  • Single Set of Rules: No longer will there be 27 different data protection regimes;
  • Fines: Increased powers will be given to national authorities to impose severe fines on companies in breach of the new laws, potentially up to 2% of global annual turnover;
  • "Right to be Forgotten": Users will be afforded a "right to be forgotten", enabling them to ensure the detetion of their online data if there are no legitimate grounds for it being stored;
  • Data Portability: There will be a right to data portability, enabling users to transfer personal informtation freely to and from competing companies;
  • Notification of breaches: organisations must notify their data protection authority and affected citizens of data breaches within 24 hours

How will the Regulation impact on US Companies?

The proposed new Regulation extends the scope of the EU data protection law to all foreign companies processing data of EU residents. In principle, this is recognition that any online business trading with EU citizens processes personal data and would be using equipment in the EU to process the data (i.e. the customer's computer). Secondly, the proposed legislation will result in reduced costs for foreign businesses navigating their way through Europe's patchwork of data protection regimes.