Data Protection Review Moves On
The last three months have been crucial in the ongoing review of the data protection framework and efamro has been right at the heart of activities.
There has much discussion about what the legislation should become with Vice President Reding and Peter Hustinx leading the debate.In public comments
, Vice President Reding placed particular emphasis on the “right to be forgotten”, focussing on personal data held on social networking sites. In contrast European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) Peter Hustinx championed
a new accountability principle, which would require data controllers to demonstrate compliance with data protection law, including the requirement to appoint a Data Protection Officer.
These comments were brought into focus when on 4 November, the Commission set out its formal position, publishing its Communication
setting out key areas where it believes changes to the framework should be investigated. As expected the Commission’s focus was on the area of harmonisation and clarification of areas of difference between Member States. At the end of last year efamro
and ESOMAR consulted with the sector and prepared a robust response to the key issues within the review. In January, efamro
, with ESOMAR, submitted its views
to Europe on the Communication, acknowledging that the principles set out in Directive 95/46/EC are still relevant but that greater cross-border consistency is required. Any changes should however be proportionate to the matters of concern, should take the public interest into account and should not hinder business growth. In concert with the formal submission, efamro
met with Peter Hustinx, EDPS, following on from an earlier meeting with Marie-Hélène Boulanger, Head of Data Protection at DG Justice. These contacts are essential to ensure the concerns of market social and opinion research are listened to and any unintended consequences of the data protection review are minimised.
It is expected that the Commission will publish its legislative proposal during the summer of 2011. In the meantime efamro will continue to make the case for research, meeting with key stakeholders including sounding out MEPs who could support the research position once any revised legislation reaches the vital Parliament stage.