Privacy Advisor

UK—Justice Select Committee criticizes EU data protection reform proposals

December 1, 2012

By Lilly Taranto

On 24 October, the UK Justice Select Committee published its opinion on the EU data protection reform proposals. While the committee agreed that reform is necessary, it urged the commission to “go back to the drawing board and devise a regime which is much less prescriptive.” Specifically, the committee is concerned about the prescriptive rules lacking flexibility in the proposed regulation and supports a principle-based approach; prescriptive rules are likely to be particularly hard for small businesses. The opinion criticizes the use of both a regulation and a directive as confusing and considers the "right to be forgotten" misleading in that it could create unrealistic expectations, for example, in relation to search engines and social media. The committee, however, supported the commission's position that the right of access should be free but endorsed the ICO's concern about the impact of the reform on its resources.

Lilly Taranto joined Field Fisher Waterhouse in 2010 and specialises in data protection and information law. She also has experience advising multinational clients on cross-border and UK data protection issues in technology and communications, retail and financial institutions. She can be reached at