This week’s European Parliament vote to give the green light to tougher EU data protection laws has been blasted as a “lame duck” by one leading privacy lawyer, who claims MEPs have left the reforms in a “terrible state”.
The move, widely criticised by the marketing industry, has been branded the “Doomsday scenario for DM” . If sanctioned by the Council of Ministers, it could lead to the introduction of an enforced opt-in for companies gathering marketing data, as well as huge extra costs for thousands of firms.
But Field Fisher Waterhouse privacy lawyer Stewart Room claims the vote has played into the hands of the Eurosceptics.
He said: “The European Parliament vote on the draft Data Protection Regulation has been heralded by some in the Parliament and the European Commission as cementing-in the new regime. Nothing could be further from the truth.
“The Parliament is a lame duck, in the last few weeks of power and as happens in these situations, the incumbents are trying to bind the hands of the successors. Every Parliament tries this trick and it rarely works.
“The sad fact is that the Parliament had an opportunity to nail this a year ago, when the momentum was with the reform agenda. Instead, they got themselves trapped in a cycle of navel gazing, spending months and months on tiny points of detail, exhausting the Parliamentary time available, driving the reform agenda into a wall. Now, the momentum is with the Eurosceptics, who will be better represented after the election. The vote takes things nowhere.
“The current EU leaders have left the law and regulation in a terrible state. This hiatus is no good for anyone. The best thing that the new leaders can do would be to scale back on the ambition and tackle some key points with more precision.”
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