IAPP-GDPR Web Banners-300x250-FINAL
The Proposed EU Data Protection Regulation: Historic Privacy Framework or Swiss Cheese?

What a week for the proposed EU data protection regulation. Here is a roundup we’ve put together highlighting the various initiatives and concerns with this hugely important, but contentious legislation. European Data Protection Supervisor Peter Hustinx is concerned that if the regulation isn’t passed before the expiration of the current European Parliament, then “serious repercussions in terms of economic development” will ensue, and MEP Jan Philip Albrecht has warned that the EU may end up with a data protection regime that will be weaker than the 1995 directive.

With serious concerns by some about the level of lobbying efforts by U.S.-based tech companies, the U.S. government and the advertising industry, a coalition of privacy advocates has banded together with the intent of educating and convincing citizens to contact their representatives and demand strong data protection legislation. The tone and tenor of the data protection debate on both sides shows how contentious privacy has become.

Here’s a brief video from the group:

It would take thousands of words for me to describe the complexities and nuances that may have been glossed over or summarized in such a short video. But, regardless of what side of the debate you're on, what has become clear is that privacy and data protection are at the forefront of the global policitcal debate. Some have even warned that a proposed EU-U.S. trade agreement would allow U.S. tech companies to sidestep the data protection regulations, while others, such as Christopher Wolf, are seeing the potential convergence of trade and privacy law. Wolf also shared some of what he's hearing about the proposed regulation "out on the Rue."

For some skeptics, claims on the technical feasibility of the right to be forgotten have been called into question, not to mention the public interest in maintaining certain information indefinitely (think about a politician’s resume). On this very blog, an archivist expressed her concerns on what the right to be forgotten could have on historical archives and research. Plus, those lobbying for a more “flexible” regulation argue that prescriptive measures will hamper innovation and the dynamism brought on by rapidly improving technology.

And Europe is certainly not homogenous—the UK tends to see things differently than Germany, for instance. As Timothy Toohey, CIPP/US, CIPP/E, recently told The Privacy Advisor, “there is a wide gap between the UK ICO’s views and those of data protection authorities in other EU member states. Even within certain countries, like Germany, which has strong traditions of data protection within individual German states, there are significant differences in attitude towards the proposed regulation.”

With such a huge piece of legislation hanging in the balance, it’s no wonder the final vote in the European Parliament Civil Liberties Committee has been temporarily delayed.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Will big business get their softer, gentler regulation? Or will the video’s warning come true: “When the lobbyists are done with this law, the only thing that will remind you of data protection is the title of the law”?

Written By

Jedidiah Bracy, CIPP/E, CIPP/US


If you want to comment on this post, you need to login.


Board of Directors

See the esteemed group of leaders shaping the future of the IAPP.

Contact Us

Need someone to talk to? We’re here for you.

IAPP Staff

Looking for someone specific? Visit the staff directory.

Learn more about the IAPP»

Daily Dashboard

The day’s top stories from around the world

Privacy Perspectives

Where the real conversations in privacy happen

The Privacy Advisor

Original reporting and feature articles on the latest privacy developments

Privacy Tracker

Alerts and legal analysis of legislative trends

Privacy Tech

Exploring the technology of privacy

Canada Dashboard Digest

A roundup of the top Canadian privacy news

Europe Data Protection Digest

A roundup of the top European data protection news

Asia-Pacific Dashboard Digest

A roundup of the top privacy news from the Asia-Pacific region

IAPP Westin Research Center

Original works. Groundbreaking research. Emerging scholars.

Advertise in IAPP Publications

Find out how to get your message in front the people you want to reach. Download a media kit now.

Get more News »

Find a KnowledgeNet Chapter Near You

Network and talk privacy at IAPP KnowledgeNet meetings, taking place worldwide.

Women Leading Privacy

Events, volunteer opportunities and more designed to help you give and get career support and expand your network.

IAPP Job Board

Looking for a new challenge, or need to hire your next privacy pro? The IAPP Job Board is the answer.

Join the Privacy List

Have ideas? Need advice? Subscribe to the Privacy List. It’s crowdsourcing, with an exceptional crowd.

Find more ways to Connect »

Find a Privacy Training Class

Two-day privacy training classes are held around the world. See the complete schedule now.

Online Privacy Training

Build your knowledge. The privacy know-how you need is just a click away.

The Training Post—Can’t-Miss Training Updates

Subscribe now to get the latest alerts on training opportunities around the world.

New Web Conferences Added!

See our list of upcoming web conferences. Just log on, listen in and learn!

Train Your Staff

Get your team up to speed on privacy by bringing IAPP training to your organization.

Learn more »

CIPP Certification

The global standard for the go-to person for privacy laws, regulations and frameworks

CIPM Certification

The first and only privacy certification for professionals who manage day-to-day operations

CIPT Certification

The industry benchmark for IT professionals worldwide to validate their knowledge of privacy requirements

Certify Your Staff

Find out how you can bring the world’s only globally recognized privacy certification to a group in your organization.

Learn more about IAPP certification »

Get Close-up

Looking for tools and info on a hot topic? Our close-up pages organize it for you in one easy-to-find place.

Where's Your DPA?

Our interactive DPA locator helps you find data protection authorities and summary of law by country.

IAPP Westin Research Center

See the latest original research from the IAPP Westin fellows.

Looking for Certification Study Resources?

Find out what you need to prepare for your exams

More Resources »

GDPR Comprehensive: Registration Open

New! Intensive two-day GDPR training led by the sharpest minds in the field. It's a can't-miss event.

The Congress Is Cancelled

The IAPP Europe Data Protection Congress 2015 is cancelled. Click through to learn more.

Sponsor an Event

Increase visibility for your organization—check out sponsorship opportunities today.

Exhibit at an Event

Put your brand in front of the largest gatherings of privacy pros in the world. Learn more.

More Conferences »

Become a Member

Start taking advantage of the many IAPP member benefits today

Corporate Members

See our list of high-profile corporate members—and find out why you should become one, too

Renew Your Membership

Don’t miss out for a minute—continue accessing your benefits

Join the IAPP»