With just four days to go until the biggest overhaul of data protection laws in a generation, only seven out of the 28 EU states have actually passed their domestic legislation to enforce GDPR, with some – including Belgium, the home of the European Commission – said to be many months from getting their acts together.
Despite having had two years to get in shape, only Austria, Germany, France, Croatia, the Netherlands, Sweden and Slovakia are ready.
Others, including the UK, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Romania and Latvia claim they will have the legislation passed by the beginning of June.
However, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania and Slovenia will not be ready until far beyond the 25 May deadline.
EU justice commissioner Věra Jourová said: “Inevitably there will be some kind of legal uncertainty and the commission doesn’t like to see that.” However, she insisted that she would not hesitate to take the EU states to court in serious cases, noting that they have had more than enough time.
She blamed negligence and domestic debates for the delays. “I think there was enough time,” she said, adding that the final version of the regulation was passed in December 2015.
Not that the Commission and Jourová do not have their own timing issues. Back in May 2017, EU Jourová claimed Brussels would to launch a “massive” marketing campaign across the EU by January “at the latest”, although there has been no sign of this activity.
At the time, she said: “I will launch a massive information campaign by January at the latest. It should tell people about the new rights that the data protection reform brings to them. I do not want people to be paranoid. I just want them to know who is handling their data and what he or she will do with their data. I want people to give really conscious consent that can be withdrawn if they so wish.”
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