EU to thrash out data reforms at last

Will EU laws be relevant when passed 1Stand by your beds – the long-awaited discussions between the European Commission, Parliament and Council over the EU data reforms are set to kick off on June 24, with the DMA seeing light at the end of the tunnel in its quest to get a more friendly version of the proposed laws.
The EU’s Justice & Home Affairs Council has now agreed its “general approach”, and according to the DMA things are looking up, with the industry body outlining five areas in the Council’s submission where it sees reasons to be cheerful. They include:
Definition of Personal Data: The Justice & Home Affairs Council definition is preferable to the European Parliament’s one as in the Council definition online identifiers are only personal data if they can be linked to an individual. In the Parliament version of the text all online identifiers were personal data regardless of whether they could be linked back to an individual.
Consent: The Council text is preferred. Both other texts refer to explicit consent, whereas the Council text has removed the word explicit.
Legitimate Interest: The Council text makes it clear that organisations can process personal information based on their legitimate interests provided they respect the rights of individuals in particular children and certain other caveats. In the Parliament version, Legitimate Interest includes specific clauses for B2B marketing and postal direct marketing only. However, the new Council text includes the following line: “The processing of personal data for direct marketing purposes may be regarded as carried out for a legitimate interest.”
Automated Decision Making and Profiling: The Council has gone back to a definition of automated decision making (including profiling) which only applies where the decision is based solely on automated processing. This is much more similar to the current definition in the 1995 Directive/Data Protection Act 1998 than the Parliament’s version.
Viviane Reding’s successor, Czech politician and commissioner for justice, consumers and gender equality Vera Jourová, said: “Today we take a big step forward in making Europe fit for the digital age. Citizens and businesses deserve modern data protection rules that keep pace with the latest technological changes. High data protection standards will strengthen consumers’ trust in digital services, and businesses will benefit from a single set of rules across 28 countries. I am convinced that we can reach a final agreement with the European Parliament and the Council by the end of this year.”
For more information visit the DMA website >

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