Category European Parliament

Is Google taking the pee out of data protection?

Google taking the pissIt’s no exaggeration to claim but when the history of data protection and privacy is written 10 years from now, one company will be credited with having had the most influence over the shape of data protection and privacy across the European Union (EU).

And it’s Google.

No week goes past without some reference to one of the most powerful digital companies on the planet. And this week just gone has been no exception.

On Thursday 9 July, Google was forced to revise its privacy policy after the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA) threatened to fine company €15m. Google will now have to seek new users’ permission to combine their personal data throughout its services...

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“Positive vibes” as Trilogue on GDPR begins today

Positive EU vibes2Speaking after the first Trilogue meeting today, Jan Philipp Albrecht, Rapporteur for the European Parliament said that agreement between the European Commission, Parliament and Council of Ministers may be achievable by the end of 2015 alongside the Data Protection Directive for law enforcement – the so-called EU Police Directive.

Speaking to reporters, Albrecht said: “The Trilogue (negotiations) today showed very clearly that agreement is feasible if all parties are open to compromise. All parties are committed to the timetable. The texts are actually a lot closer to each other now than we thought a few months ago.”

He was referring to the versions of GDPR that each side has as they enter negotiations over the next 6 months in order to reach agreement on the precise wording for GDPR...

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European Council of Ministers in “historic step” for GDPR by end of 2015

V Jourova, European Commission describes progress on GDPR as an historic daySpeaking at a news conference a few hours ago, Věra Jourová, the European Union’s Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality announced that an “historic step” had been taken today as the European Council of Ministers reached agreement on the general approach on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Latvia’s minister for justice Dzintars Rasnačs added: “We have moved a great step closer to modernised and harmonised data protection framework for the European Union. I am very content that after more than 3 years of negotiations we have finally found a compromise on the text and (GDPR)… will strengthen individual rights of our citizens and ensure a high standard of protection.”

What this means is that the Council of Ministers has political agreement on the basis of...

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Countdown to GDPR

time is tickingThe clock is ticking for reaching agreement on the EU General Data Protection Regulation, according to the European People’s Party (EPP) Group that brings together centre and centre-right pro-European political forces from the Member States and represents the largest group in the European Parliament.

Monday 15 and Tuesday 16 June 2015

The Council of Ministers will meet in Luxembourg to agree the adoption of a general approach to GDPR.

In effect, the Council will declare its own view on the preferred draft for GDPR and GDPR watchers the world over will be able to compare and contrast the various differences that will exist between this version and the one favoured by the European Parliament.

What started life as an ambitious proposal for reform by the European Commission that was amended ...

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When bankers cry – well, they will if they fined under GDPR

unhappy.yellow.shirt_.cropped1According to Varonis (Nasdaq:VRNS), a leading provider of software solutions for unstructured, human-generated enterprise data, banks will be among the first to be hit with massive fines for falling foul of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

In a poll conducted at Cebit – Europe’s largest IT show – the company revealed the level of how unprepared the financial services sector is to life under GDPR. Notably, 50% of all respondents that took part in the survey worked within the European banking sector.

According to Varonis, despite the small sample size of 145 respondents, its survey reflects a much wide degree of how under prepared the financial services sector is as well as the nervousness that has penetrated the wider banking community.

Key survey findings:

  • 8...
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What’s the view of the final text of GDPR according to EC?

JunckerIn the last couple of weeks the blogosphere has gone into overdrive regarding the final text of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that’s on track to emerge before the end of the year. Agreement between the European Parliament, Council of Ministers and European Commission now looks like a distinct possibility in November 2015 after which there’ll be a two-year transition period before sanctions begin to bite.

As GDPR watchers will have already clocked, there’s been a leak on the first reading of EU Regulation by the Council of Ministers. The document runs into 630 pages and can be accessed here.

Fortunately, the fog that’s surrounded the details of the final text of GDPR is now starting to lift.

The European Commission – the ‘honest broker’ in the deal between the Eu...

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The Imitation Game

Imitation GameIn the media this week there’s been a fair amount of speculation as to when the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is likely to see the light of day. Some commentators are speculating that sign-off by the European Parliament, Council of Ministers and the European Commission won’t happen until Spring 2016.

Earlier this year, a joint statement by EC vice president Andrus Ansip and EU Commissioner Věra Jourová indicated that GDPR could become law by the end of 2015. Perhaps this was wishful thinking?

And this week, some 60 pressure groups including the UK’s Open Rights Group, Liberty, the Dutch Consumer Council and US Electronic Privacy Information Centre have written an open letter to EU President Jean-Claude Juncker outlining their concerns over the way GDPR is currently d...

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How long do we need to wait for GDPR to be approved?

time-clockThe Presidency of the EU Council is in the hands of the Latvians until June and urged on by European Commission they’ve highlighted data protection reform across Europe as a key priority. Data protection reform may not grab national news headlines here in the UK but the consequences of what will become law across all 28 EU Member States will have far reaching implications for the Government put in charge of running the country after the British General Election is decided in May 2015.

As discussed in blogs on this and many other websites, the spate of data breaches and the security implications for millions of European citizens continues to grow bigger on a daily basis.

And yet those in Brussels appear incapable of pushing ahead with agreement on a single EU Regulation that rebalances th...

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