European data protection proposals have been slammed by a select committee for being “too prescriptive”. A report by the Justice Select Committee said that the proposals for a common European data protection framework did not allow for flexibility or discretion for businesses or other organisations, which hold personal data, or for data protection authorities. The [...]

European data protection proposals have been slammed by a select committee for being “too prescriptive”. A report by the Justice Select Committee said that the proposals for a common European data protection framework did not allow for flexibility or discretion for businesses or other organisations, which hold personal data, or for data protection authorities.


The committee said that the proposals should focus on those elements that are required to achieve the Commission’s objectives, while compliance should be entrusted to Member States’ data protection authorities.
The Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, and chairman of the Justice Select Committee Sir Alan Beith MP, both state that the draft Regulation is unworkable because it is too over-prescriptive.
The MPs were responding to a request from the European Scrutiny Committee for its opinion on both the draft Regulation and draft Directive. These plans would give EU citizens new data protection rights as set out in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the Lisbon Treaty.
The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) has welcomed the Justice Select Committee's recommendations to the European Scrutiny Committee, which call for the EU data protection proposals to go 'back to the drawing board'.
Commenting on the recommendations Caroline Roberts, director of public affairs for the DMA, said: "We're pleased that the Justice Select Committee has taken on board the many concerns that businesses have about the draft Regulation and recognises that as it stands the Regulation is not fit for purpose. Data protection legislation needs to be updated to reflect the realities of today's digital economy. However, the draft Regulation would impose a serious burden on businesses without offering any meaningful protection to consumers' right to data privacy.
"We hope that EU lawmakers go back to the drawing board and create a Regulation that strikes the right balance in protecting the data privacy rights of individuals when sharing their information with businesses. Failure to do so would have terrible consequences for UK plc."
Last week, Scott Logie, chair of the DMA, chaired a ministerial roundtable meeting at which industry bodies including the DMA, Advertising Association, Internet Advertising Bureau, IPA and ISBA put forward their concerns about the draft Data Protection Regulation to Justice Minister Helen Grant MP and Culture Minister Ed Vaizey MP. Speaking after the session Ed Vaizey commented:
“Britain’s creative industries and the strength of its online economy are the envy of Europe. This Regulation puts at risk the innovation which drives online business and creative content and it’s particularly important for the UK that we address this. We must find a way to protect consumers that doesn’t undermine some of our most valuable sectors.”
It will be 2014 before any changes are made to the law in the UK. Final regulation will take effect two years after being adopted.