European Parliament Votes In Favour Of New Data Protection Regulation

Author:Ms Cynthia O'Donoghue
Profession:Reed Smith

In March, the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of implementing the draft Data Protection Regulation, making its commitment to reforming the European regime irreversible. In order to become law, the Regulation must now be negotiated and adopted by the Council of Ministers.

Discussions around reform began in January 2012, in recognition of the growing economic significance of personal data. With estimates that by 2020 the personal data of European citizens will be worth nearly €1 trillion annually, it is important that any reform ensures an adequate level of protection for citizens while not overburdening businesses. To this end, Vice-President Viviane Reding has stated that the Regulation will "make life easier for business and strengthen the protection of our citizens." The Regulation will make four key changes to the data protection regime, which are summarised below:

Equal application in all EU Member States by replacing the "current inconsistent patchwork of national laws", making compliance easier and cheaper Creation of a "one-stop shop" for organisations to deal with one data protection authority where their EU QA is located, rather than across various member states, reducing the administrative burden on organisations. EU residents may still bring complaints to the...

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