Industry urged to reshape EU laws

The Government is calling on the DM industry to show how the draft EU data laws will affect them, to influence the delicate negotiations with other EU countries to combat the more draconian measures.
The Ministry of Justice has issued a so-called “call for evidence” to “data controllers, rights groups, information policy experts and other interested parties” in a bid to understand what impact the proposals will have.
The move puts the onus on businesses to study the finer detail of the highly complex proposals, unveiled by EU justice minister Viviane Reding last month, which even data protection lawyers have had difficulty deciphering.
At the time, the draft laws were described as a ‘Sword of Damacles’ for business, with fears that the many of the measures – such as the right to be forgotten, hiring data protection officers and huge fines for data breaches – mean the cost of handling personal data would rocket.
Information Commissioner Christopher Graham has been one of the first the raise concerns, claiming many of the proposals have been poorly thought out and do not reflect the realities of data protection.
“To negotiate for an effective EU data protection legislative framework, the Government needs information about what the impact of the Commission’s proposals is likely to be,” the MoJ’s document said.
“In particular, we would like information on the potential impact on organisations processing personal data, as well as the likely benefits to individuals through strengthened rights,” it said. “Wherever possible, we would like this information to include practical, day-to-day examples of the proposals’ possible effects and monetised cost and benefit figures.
“We would also like views on the extent to which these proposals build trust in the online environment, whether they can contribute to economic growth and whether they affect the rights of individuals to the protection of their personal data.”
“Comments on how the draft provisions would affect data controllers and data subjects, including monetised costs and benefits, are very welcome,” the MoJ said. The call for evidence is open until March 6 and a paper summarising the responses is due to be published on June 4.

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