8th April 2016

Council approves data protection package

On 8 April, the Council formally approved (at first reading) the data protection package – consisting of a General Data Protection Regulation and of a Data Protection Directive in the Field of Enforcement. This paves the way for the definitive adoption by the package, which is expected to be done on 14 April by the EP sitting in plenary in Strasbourg. The package replaces the two-decades-old data protection directive and updates EU legislation to the changed environment of omnipresent Internet, social networks and online business. The new regulation strengthens rights of individual citizens vis-a-vis their data, as well as helps businesses by establishing a one-stop-shop mechanism for data protection (companies will not be required to deal with 28 data protection authorities in the EU, but only with one). The enforcement directive, among other things, facilitates exchange of personal data by justice authorities of the EU member states. The EU hopes it will enable better sharing of information to tackle transnational crime.

Compromise between the EP and the Council on the exact wording of the package was reached in December last year. This compromise was now adopted as the Council´s position in first reading of the legislative process (the EP previously formally adopted its own version at first reading). Final adoption will be reached if the EP approves the Council´s position on 14 April as its second reading position – as is expected. The Dutch Presidency of the Council also stated that the EP has promised to pass in April another crucial piece of legislation concerning sharing and protection of personal data – the Passenger Name Records (PNR).

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Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic