Article 29 Working Party Opinion 3/2010 on the Principle of Accountability: 'Made to Measure' Data Privacy Compliance for the Proactive?

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Introduction

On July 13, 2010, the influential Article 29 Working Party (Working Party), consisting of all the European Union's national data privacy regulators, adopted Opinion 3/2010 on the principle of accountability (Opinion).

This is an important contribution to the European Commission's review of the European Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC (Data Protection Directive), a draft of which had been expected later this year, but is now expected some time in late 2011.

In essence, the Opinion builds on good practice in the area of global regulatory compliance, advocating the introduction of a "principle of accountability" in the revised Data Protection Directive that "would explicitly require data controllers to implement appropriate and effective measures to put into effect the principles and obligations of the [Data Protection] Directive and demonstrate this on request." The Working Party objective is to "encourage data protection in practice" by requiring data controllers to take a strategic, risk-based approach when determining effective and appropriate measures based on the nature of the personal information being processed and the risks represented by such processing.

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