If your company touches any Europeans’ data you’d better prepare for what’s coming.
The EU data protection reform is steadily moving forward. On March 12, 2014, the European Parliament adopted the current proposal in its first reading. The new regulation is intended to strengthen consumer privacy rights and to boost Europe’s digital economy. However, many experts across the Atlantic have expressed deep concerns with regard to some controversial aspects of the incoming laws, which introduce bigger fines, 24 hour disclosure and the enforced Data Privacy Officer. The proposed regulation applies to the processing of personal data pertaining to data subjects in the EU even if the controller or processor of such data is not established in the EU. U.S. companies with or without operations in the EU that fail to comply with the new rules can trigger fines up to €100 million. If your company touches any Europeans’ data, you’d better prepare for what’s coming and know what to do to minimize the impact on your organization when the regulation is enforced.
EU regulation vs. U.S. laws: a matter of cultural bias?
The consolidated version of the EU commission´s proposal for a General Data Protection Regulation following the LIBE Committee vote of October 21, 2013 differs fundamentally from the U.S. approach to the protection of personal data. “Whether one approach is better than the other, is a question of data protection culture. You might think that these are two extremes. On the one hand you have very restrictive regulation with higher fines, which are in my opinion over the top. On the other hand, there is so much leeway under the U.S. data protection laws that you can do almost anything as long as it’s not specifically prohibited.” observes Andreas Leupold, the German IT attorney recipient of the “Lawyer of The Year 2013” award who advises clients across Germany, England and the U.S.
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