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Albrecht Report Would Strengthen EC Proposal, Has Industry Concerned

PRIVACY LAW—EU

January 9, 2013

MEP Jan Philipp Albrecht has released a draft report on the European Commission’s proposed update to the 1995 Data Protection Directive supporting a robust framework and recommending more stringent measures, The New York Times reports, inciting mixed reactions from government and industry. The report, containing 350 proposed amendments to be discussed in plenary, would increase data subjects' rights—rewording the “right to be forgotten” as “a right to erasure and to be forgotten”—expand the proposal’s scope of non-EU-based controllers and expand the concept of “personal data.” The report suggests the “legitimate interest” provision—allowing companies to process personal data without consent if the reasons for doing so trump the individual’s right to privacy—should be used only in exceptional circumstances. While EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding welcomed the report, industry has reacted less favorably. Facebook’s head of EU Policy, Erika Mann, said that “some aspects of the report do not support a flourishing European Digital Single Market,” and the Industry Coalition for Data Protection said Albrecht’s report “missed an opportunity to reconcile effective privacy safeguards with rules protecting the conduct of business—both fundamental rights under the EU charter.” Monika Kuschewsky, CIPP/E, special counsel at Covington & Burling, told the Daily Dashboard those expecting a “conciliatory report searching for compromise and practical solutions will be disappointed” as the report’s amendments aim to strengthen individuals’ and authorities’ rights and “reinforce existing or impose additional obligations on companies.” Field Fisher Waterhouse’s Eduardo Ustaran, CIPP/E, expects “heated negotiations with the Council of the EU and other stakeholders.” (Registration may be required to access this story.) Editor’s Note: Look for more on this topic in an upcoming edition of The Privacy Advisor.
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