... Key changes in the reform include:
A single set of rules on data protection, valid across the EU. Unnecessary administrative requirements, such as notification requirements for companies, will be removed. This will save businesses around €2.3 billion a year.
Instead of the current obligation of all companies to notify all data protection activities to data protection supervisors – a requirement that has led to unnecessary paperwork and costs businesses €130 million per year, the Regulation provides for increased responsibility and accountability for those processing personal data.
For example, companies and organisations must notify the national supervisory authority of serious data breaches as soon as possible (if feasible within 24 hours).
Organisations will only have to deal with a single national data protection authority in the EU country where they have their main establishment. Likewise, people can refer to the data protection authority in their country, even when their data is processed by a company based outside the EU. Wherever consent is required for data to be processed, it is clarified that it has to be given explicitly, rather than assumed.
People will have easier access to their own data and be able to transfer personal data from one service provider to another more easily (right to data portability). This will improve competition among services.
A ‘right to be forgotten’ will help people better manage data protection risks online: people will be able to delete their data if there are no legitimate grounds for retaining it.
EU rules must apply if personal data is handled abroad by companies that are active in the EU market and offer their services to EU citizens.
Independent national data protection authorities will be strengthened so they can better enforce the EU rules at home. They will be empowered to fine companies that violate EU data protection rules. This can lead to penalties of up to €1 million or up to 2% of the global annual turnover of a company.
A new Directive will apply general data protection principles and rules for police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters. The rules will apply to both domestic and cross-border transfers of data.
The Commission's proposals will now be passed on to the European Parliament and EU Member States (meeting in the Council of Ministers) for discussion. They will take effect two years after they have been adopted. ...
From: "Commission proposes a comprehensive reform of data protection rules to increase users' control of their data and to cut costs for businesses", Press release, European Commission, Brussels, 25 January 2012
... Article 17 provides the data subject's right to be forgotten and to erasure. It further elaborates and specifies the right of erasure provided for in Article 12(b) of Directive 95/46/EC and provides the conditions of the right to be forgotten, including the obligation of the controller which has made the personal data public to inform third parties on the data subject's request to erase any links to, or copy or replication of that personal data. It also integrates the right to have the processing restricted in certain cases, avoiding the ambiguous terminology “blocking”. ...(53) The principles of fair and transparent processing require that the data subject should be informed in particular of the existence of the processing operation and its purposes, how long the data will be stored, on the existence of the right of access, rectification or erasure and on the right to lodge a complaint. Where the data are collected from the data subject, the data subject should also be informed whether they are obliged to provide the data and of the consequences, in cases they do not provide such data. Any person should have the right to have personal data concerning them rectified and a 'right to be forgotten' where the retention of such data is not in compliance with this Regulation. In particular, data subjects should have the right that their personal data are erased and no longer processed, where the data are no longer necessary in relation to the purposes for which the data are collected or otherwise processed, where data subjects have withdrawn their consent for processing or where they object to the processing of personal data concerning them or where the processing of their personal data otherwise does not comply with this Regulation. This right is particularly relevant, when the data subject has given their consent as a child, when not being fully aware of the risks involved by the processing, and later wants to remove such personal data especially on the Internet. However, the further retention of the data should be allowed where it is necessary for historical, statistical and scientific research purposes, for reasons of public interest in the area of public health, for exercising the right of freedom of expression, when required by law or where there is a reason to restrict the processing of the data instead of erasing them.
(54) To strengthen the 'right to be forgotten' in the online environment, the right to erasure should also be extended in such a way that a controller who has made the personal data public should be obliged to inform third parties which are processing such data that a data subject requests them to erase any links to, or copies or replications of that personal data. To ensure this information, the controller should take all reasonable steps, including technical measures, in relation to data for the publication of which the controller is responsible. In relation to a third party publication of personal data, the controller should be considered responsible for the publication, where the controller has authorised the publication by the third party. ...
From: Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation), COM(2012) 11 final 2012/0011 (COD), European Commission, Brussels, 25.1.2012
Saturday, January 28, 2012
European Data Protection Changes
The European Commission has proposed changes to the EU's 1995 data protection rules. What has got most attention is a proposed "right to be forgotten", but there are also proposals to streamline the reporting for business and queries for citizens. At present businesses have to register with each national data authority where they do business and citizens have to esquire with the relevant national authority. Under the new scheme the business will deal just with the authority where they are headquartered and will just have to tell them when there is a data problem. Citizens will be able to ask the authority where they are about any business anywhere. The EU has published a comprehensive list of materials. An easy place to start is the media release: