Data Protection Regulation: Back On Track?

by Dentons
Contact

The Council of the EU has been busy discussing the draft Regulation this week.  There is a press release and press conference to go with it.  So what’s new?

Territorial scope

There seems to be broad agreement on this.  Viviane Reding, the EU Commissioner responsible, says that it’s a core requirement to “create a level playing field between European and non-European businesses.  All companies that want to utilise the internal market have to apply the European law”.  She says this is of “utmost importance”.

So, no change on the plans for extra-territorial effect.   US and global businesses beware!

International data transfers

Again, there seems to be broad agreement on the key principles contained in the draft Regulation.  But Ministers agreed that more technical work needs to be done (no details provided) and that the question of “alternative models for international data transfer” needs to be studied in-depth.

This may be a tacit acknowledgment that the existing solutions are far from perfect. This is true. However we have a long way to go before we can achieve truly “interoperable data privacy laws” as between different parts of the globe or, for that matter, reliable privacy seals.

Big data

Many businesses are starting to look at profiling customers to learn more about them and target more products to them.  Viviane Reding says that progress has been made on this.  There have been suggestions that profiling is to be prohibited without the consent of the citizen.  However she says, very clearly, that profiling is only prohibited if “hurts the citizen”.  So safeguards must apply.  Very significantly, she says that this should not interfere with a business’s ability to innovate.  She recognises that there has to be a balance between business development and new business models.

This is a signal, contrary to what we heard last year, that big data is not dead!  This is good news for businesses in all sectors who want to apply an algorithm to large volumes of data to spot patterns or trends and enable them to offer better, more personalised and effective services. We have yet to see the text on this though.

Regulation or Directive? 

The UK and some other member states believe that the new law should be in the form of a Directive (with local implementation required at member state level) rather than a Regulation.  Regulations are directly applicable and apply on an EU-wide basis.  Viviane Reding says “I like regulations because they are efficient and they make the same rules for the whole continent”.  She was actually talking about cross-border debt recovery but the principle is clear.

So there is no likelihood of a switch to a Directive from the EU Commission.

Consumer focus

Reding also believes that the new Regulation is about giving choice to consumers.  And choice, she says, drives competition.  Interestingly, she referred to her role in implementing telephone number portability (the right to port your telephone number from one service provider to another).  She says that we will now do the same with portability of personal data.  Clearly, the Regulation is about advancing the consumer agenda.  No change here but an interesting allusion to number portability and where Viviane Reding is coming from on this.

Timing

The Greeks currently hold the revolving 6 month Presidency of the Council of the EU and Reding says that “hibernation is over and the Greek spring is … [here] …”.  She has confirmed that the plan is still to have everything done and dusted by the end of 2014 and is pleased that the latest discussions have moved from a more “abstract” way of looking at things to the very “concrete elements” which, she admits, include “very political elements”.  I assume this means that the “one-stop-shop” conundrum is still unresolved.  This was the legal disagreement towards the end of last year as to whether it would prejudice a citizen’s human rights by having to make a complaint to a data privacy regulator in another country where that regulator had assumed responsibility for privacy compliance by the relevant company. Good for business; perhaps less good for citizens.

What did the Greeks say?

Mr Athanassiou (Minister for Justice for the Greek Presidency) provided some encouraging words that we might be able to reach “definitive agreements on some subjects” and that there has been much discussion on the Regulation.  He admits, however, that “much remains to be done” but that they will put every effort into ensuring that progress can be made.

What next?

The soap opera continues.  There is no doubt that Viviane Reding wants this to go through on the new timetable. The European Parliament will vote on this next week in plenary session.  After that, the Council will meet again in June for the final negotiations between the EU institutions with a view to finalising the reform by the end of 2014.  That’s the plan anyway…

A final thought …

Have a look at the opening and closing shots from the press conference.  There is hardly a journalist in sight!  I hope that’s just because they were watching the webcast instead.  We certainly need to get debate down to the granular level if we stand any chance of finalising this Regulation in workable format.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Dentons | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Dentons
Contact
more
less

Dentons on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.