20th Mar 2018

Euro-deputies diverge on data protection details

  • Data protection bill under scrutiny at the European Parliament generates heated debates behind closed doors among MEPs (Photo: SWIFT)

Euro-deputies are thrashing out the details on European data protection reform, with the latest debates split on provisions on "territorial scope."

The European Commission wants the legislation to cover non-EU entities that process data of EU citizens.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

But a source close to the file told this website on Friday (24 May) the deputies are unable to reach an agreement on the detail of the scope.

MEPs focusing on the draft regulation met in Strasbourg on Wednesday in a closed-session event in one of many attempts to whittle down the thousands of amendments.

They want to converge the parliament’s final draft before it goes to an orientation vote in the civil liberties committee, possibly in early July.

The regulation aims to increase the fundamental rights of EU citizens by harmonising data protection guarantees across the EU under a single law.

UK Liberal MEP Baroness Sarah Ludford at Wednesday’s meeting argued that companies in the EU which cater only to non-EU residents should be exempt from the regulation, says the source.

When questioned on the exemption, Ludford told this website that there is a need to “get legal clarity on which individuals are covered by the proposed regulation, whether it is people when they are present in the EU or those outside the EU.”

She noted such clarity does not “seem to exist, which is a very bad way to make legislation.”

The diverging deputies agreed to have the commission step in to mediate the issue.

Articles on information and documentation also generated heated debate.

A company collecting personal data is required to provide the person with a list of information, according to the draft regulation.

This includes, among others, the identity and contact details of the company and the length of time the company will store the data.

The regulation also calls for companies to maintain documentation of all processing operations under its responsibility.

Some of the information required involves the name and contact details of the data protection officer (if any), the purpose of data processing, and name and contact details of the companies.

Ludford argues some of the requirements in both articles are overly excessive.

“I want strong provisions on information rights for individuals but insist that they should be clear and workable and not end up in people being deluged with reams of useless bumpf,” she said.

Ludford explained that forcing companies to keep routine bureaucratic records as opposed to concentrating on evaluating risks, “is a combination which in my opinion would be the worst of all worlds.”

The source noted that both provisions are already in current law.

One of the lead rapporteurs at the meeting “exploded” over Ludford’s insistence on the wording, says the source.

EU data bill exposes political rifts

Ideological and political divisions emerge among European Parliament political groups as they debate amendments on the draft EU data protection bill.

EU to probe UK 'election-rigging' firm

MEPs are to investigate whether UK firm Cambridge Analytica and Facebook misused private data to sway votes amid increasingly lurid revelations.

EU told to create coalition against fake news

After almost two months of talks, a panel of experts set up by the EU commission have issued a series of recommendations on how to fight fake news or what they prefer to term 'disinformation'.

Poland defends judicial reforms, warns against EU pressure

Prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki presented the Commission with 94-pages of arguments backing Warsaw's controversial judicial reforms - while his EU minister warns that constant conflict with Brussels could stoke anti-European sentiment.


Why has central Europe turned so eurosceptic?

Faced with poorer infrastructure, dual food standards and what can seem like hectoring from western Europe it is not surprising some central and eastern European member states are rebelling.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EUobserverHiring - Sales Associate With 2+ Years Experience - Apply Now!
  2. EUobserverHiring - Finance Officer With Accounting Degree or Experience - Apply Now!
  3. ECR GroupAn Opportunity to Help Shape a Better Future for Europe
  4. Counter BalanceControversial Turkish Azerbaijani Gas Pipeline Gets Major EU Loan
  5. World VisionSyria’s Children ‘At Risk of Never Fully Recovering', New Study Finds
  6. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMeets with US Congress Member to Denounce Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  7. Martens CentreEuropean Defence Union: Time to Aim High?
  8. UNESDAWatch UNESDA’s President Toast Its 60th Anniversary Year
  9. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Condemns MEP Ana Gomes’s Anti-Semitic Remark, Calls for Disciplinary Action
  10. EPSUEU Commissioners Deny 9.8 Million Workers Legal Minimum Standards on Information Rights
  11. ACCAAppropriate Risk Management is Crucial for Effective Strategic Leadership
  12. EPSUWill the Circular Economy be an Economy With no Workers?