Wednesday

22nd Aug 2018

Data privacy chiefs wary of lagging EU states

  • The vast majority of EU states still remain behind schedule on laws needed to ensure data protection authorities can enforce a new regulation. (Photo: Pixabay)

EU-wide authorities may not able to properly enforce a new data protection regulation after May given lagging member state legislation.

The general data protection regulation is a massive overhaul of a two-decades old EU law with far-reaching implications for people's personal data and how it is processed by firms around the world.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

"It is why there is a high operational and political pressure to have these laws voted before May," French privacy chief Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin told reporters in Brussels on Wednesday (7 February).

The European Commission in late January said 26 EU states, aside from Germany and Austria, have yet to pass all the laws needed to ensure that data protection authorities are both well resourced and independent.

This data overhaul includes a so-called 'consistency mechanism' intended to streamline cooperation between the data protection authorities on issues with implications for all of Europe.

It means a decision taken by a lead data protection authority in a case is then applied across every member state.

"If there is one authority that is not in a capacity to take part to the consistency mechanism once facing a transborder case, it means the whole system is stopped," warned Falque-Pierrotin.

Firms that break the new data rules face up to a €20 million fine or four percent of their annual turnover. Companies will, for instance, be required to rapidly inform people of any data hacks.

Hacking has hit media headlines, including a massive data breach cover-up by car-hailing app, Uber. The US giant is under investigation after details of some 57 million accounts went public in 2016.

Uber is not alone. UpGuard, a California-based cyber risk company, earlier this week revealed another breach. It said Octoly, a Paris-based brand marketing company, left an Amazon Web Services S3 cloud storage bucket configured for public access.

Working Party 29

Falque-Pierrotin on Wednesday also stepped down from her role as chair of the chair of the body representing national data protection supervisors, also known as the Working Party 29 (WP29).

She is being replaced by Austria's data protection authority Andrea Jelinek who told this website that the European commission and the WP29 will maintain pressure on the capitals.

"I hope they get in line and I think it is important that the Commission has an eye on it and that we have an eye on it," she said.

As the new chair, Jelinek is poised to also take the lead on the European data protection board. The board will replace the working party and will enforce the general data protection regulation once it goes live on 25 May.

26 EU states not ready for data law

The European Commission on Wednesday said only Austria and Germany have passed the relevant draft laws needed to ensure the launch of the EU's general data protection regulation on 25 May:

Facebook promises more privacy ahead of new EU rules

Speaking in Brussels, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, says the social media giant has "not done enough to stop the abuse of our technology." Her admission comes with new plans to wrestle with "bad content".

Austrian privacy case against Facebook hits legal snag

Austrian privacy campaigner Max Schrems may sue Facebook Ireland in an Austrian court but won't be able to pursue a class action suit in Austria, according to a non-binding opinion by a top EU court advisor.

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 Commission skirts Italy sanctions on Roma evictions

The European Commission, as guardian of the treaties, declines to sanction Italy's treatment of the Roma following a forced eviction on Thursday of some 300 from a camp in the outskirts of the Italian capital.

News in Brief

  1. EU Commission: efforts 'ongoing' over Italian migrant ship
  2. Italy allows boat with migrants to dock
  3. France's Total pulls out of Iran due to US sanctions
  4. Trump accuses EU and China of currency manipulation
  5. Swedish conservatives regret unsuccessful integration policies
  6. Record high measles cases hit Europe
  7. Swedish politician declares war on media
  8. Italy threatens to return migrants to Libya

Opinion

The systemic risk that Europe has to face

One of the biggest systemic risks across Europe, illustrated by Hungary and Poland, is the dominance of the executive power over the judiciary and informal channels of political dependency.

Schengen at stake in Austria-Germany talks

German interior minister Horst Seehofer is in Vienna on Thursday - as his plan to reject some asylum seekers was met by an Austrian threat to close its borders too.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  2. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  3. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  4. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  5. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  6. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  8. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  10. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  12. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma

Latest News

  1. 'Final phase' Brexit talks to go on 'continuously'
  2. UK sanctions appeal risks highlighting EU divisions
  3. Wind delays launch of European wind-mapping satellite
  4. Greece 'normal' again after end of crisis, EU says
  5. Putin strikes blow against Russia's isolation by Europe
  6. EU-China cooperation on CO2 storage lost in limbo
  7. Greece exits bailouts, but difficult path ahead
  8. EU gets record response on 'summertime' consultation

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us