EDPS on the new draft EU data protection policy

By EDRi · March 14, 2012

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Deutsch: [Der Europäische Datenschutzbeauftragte zur geplanten EU-Datenschutzreform | https://www.unwatched.org/EDRigram_10.5_Der_Europaeische_Datenschutzbeauftragte_zur_geplanten_EU-Datenschutzreform]

On 7 March 2012, Peter Hustinx, the European Data Protection Supervisor
(EDPS) issued his Opinion on the proposed reform package adopted by the
Commission on 25 January that includes a Regulation with general rules on
data protection and a Directive with specific data protection rules for the
law enforcement sector.

While welcoming the General Data Protection Regulation reform package,
considering it a very big step ahead for the data protection right in
Europe, the EPDS expresses his concern that the proposed regulation is “far
from a comprehensive set of data protection rules on national and EU level
in all areas of EU policy.”

The shortcomings of the proposed regulation are first related to the law
enforcement area, as it has left aside many instruments such as the data
protection rules for the EU institutions and bodies as well as all the
specific law enforcement instruments.

Peter Hustinx supports the proposed regulation as it eliminates the many
inconsistencies deriving from the present national implementing laws,
considering the new rules will strengthen individuals’ rights, will make
controllers more accountable for their personal data handling and will
reinforce the powers and the role of the national supervisory authorities.
However, in the EDPS’ opinion, the Commission’s separate proposals which
will apply specifically to police and justice are “unacceptably weak” and
should not involve such a big departure from the general rules with the new
ground for exceptions to the purpose limitation principle and especially
over the possibilities for restricting basic principles and rights.

“The proposed rules for data protection in the law enforcement area are
unacceptably weak. In many instances there is no justification whatsoever
for departing from the rules provided in the proposed Regulation. The law
enforcement area requires some specific rules, but not a general lowering of
the level of data protection,” says Peter Hustinx in his Opinion.

Furthermore, he expressed concerns over the excessive powers granted to the
Commission in the mechanism meant to provide consistency among supervisory
authorities and the lack of a general duty for law enforcement authorities
to demonstrate compliance with data protection requirements.

Another concern refers to the week conditions for transferring data to third
countries due to the possible derogations.

Pan-European data protection policy still “far from comprehensive”,
regulator warns (8.03.2012)

PRESS RELEASE – EDPS Opinion/07/12 – EDPS applauds strengthening of the
right to data protection in Europe, but still regrets the lack of
comprehensiveness (7.03.2012)

Opinion of the European Data Protection Supervisor on the data protection
reform package (7.03.2012)

EU Data Protection Reform – EDPS

EDRi-gram: EDRi Initial Comments on the Proposal for a Data Protection
Regulation (01.02.2012)