Revisions to the DP Directive: Commission proposal “before the end of the year”

Claire Walker

With so many UK developments to report on recently, Datonomy has only just caught up with this important announcement from the European Commission about the wider picture – namely the long-awaited reform of Directive 95/46/ EC. It forms part of a recent speech by Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission on “Next Steps for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship in the EU”.

Datonomy readers may remember the Commissioner’s previous announcement back in January which we reported here.
That was somewhat light on detail as to the proposed content and timetable for the revised Directive. The Commissioner’s latest speech does not go a great deal further on the specifics, but here is the key extract (with points of particular interest highlighted):

On privacy and data protection I have initiated the process leading up to the reform and modernisation of the 1995 Directive. In line with the legal prerequisite introduced by Lisbon we have now a specific provision (Article 16) to develop a comprehensive and coherent framework for the protection of personal data. The new legal framework should address new challenges of the information age, such as globalisation, development of information technologies, the internet, online social networking, e-commerce, cloud computing, video surveillance, behavioural advertising, data security breaches, etc.
The Commission is currently analysing the over 160 responses to the public consultation. I will present a legislative proposal reforming the Directive before the end of the year and I will consider establishing the principle of “privacy by design.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of the novelties I intend to propose, but one thing is clear: reinforcing the confidence of both citizens and businesses in data systems will lead to better protection for individuals, as well as to trust and confidence in new services and products. This will in turn have a positive impact on the economy.”

Datonomy is surprised that such a constantly maligned, yet commercially significant, piece of legislation as the Data Protection Directive has provoked a mere 160 or so consultation responses from across the whole of Europe (an average of fewer than six responses per Member State). However Datonomy looks forward to the Commission’s new proposals and is in particular intrigued to know what further “novelties” Ms Reding will propose to boost data protection rights in the EU.

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