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BizReport : Law & Regulation : December 29, 2015

New EU data protection rules threaten 4% annual turnover fines

A patchwork of national rules across Europe regarding data protection could soon be replaced by one strong data protection law for all as a provisional agreement is reached.

by Helen Leggatt

A major step forward has been achieved by the European Union in streamlining data protection legislation across the 28 member states. It has taken almost four years of political debate to get this far, and the legislation has yet to be officially approved, but the consensus seems to be that the deal will be sealed.

If approved, the rules would become official within a a couple of year and would mean that companies will not be able to divulge information they have collected without the explicit consent of the person concerned to use that data.

Companies found flouting the rules would be subject to fines amounting to as much as 4% of their annual turnover. For large, global companies this could end up being in the billions.

"The new rules will give users back the right to decide on their own private data", said Parliament's lead MEP on the regulation, Jan Philipp Albrecht. "At the same time, the new rules will give businesses legal certainty and chances for competition. It will create one single common data protection standard across Europe. This implies less bureaucracy and creates a level playing field for all business on the European market."

The new rules would replace the EU's current data protection laws which date from 1995.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: data protection, European Union, law, legislation, privacy

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