Directive on Data Protection to come soon?

Dimitri Droutsas, MEP, and rapporteur of the parliament on the Commissions proposal for a directive on data protection for justice and police affairs (COM/2012/010 final – 2012/0010 (COD)) is very positive that the draf will come into force within this parliament’s legislation period.

Giving a keynote at the SMART-conference, IRI is proud to coorganise under the responsibility of Christian Hawellek, Droutsas reports that the European Parliament will be ready to vote on the directive as well as on the regulation by end of October. He reemphasizes that the parliament sees both pieces of legislation as a package and will urge the council to act quickly enough to make the legislation come into force within several months. He states that the general public will expect Europe to give an adequate answer to urging data protection issues, in particular after all the findings brought up by Mr. Snowden.

Waltraut Kotschy reminds the audience  (consisting of high level experts from academia, police, intelligence and public administration) on the fundamental rights guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Charter of Fundamental Rights.

The panel discussion, chaired by the project’s coordinator, Joe Cannataci, is opened by a statement of Austria‘ data protection officer, Dr. Eva Souhrada-Kirchmayer. She is rather critical about many aspects of the draft (f. e. that intelligence services are not covered) but insists on the importance of reform and the importance of seeing the reform as a package.

Mark Fraser, Data Protection Officer of the Association of Chief Police Officers, UK welcomes the Parliament’s initiative to speed up the political process as well, but has some doubts whether the text goes too far in some ways. Dr. Imke Sommer is not of this opinion and insists that technology as such can’t be smart but that it needs humans outweighing conflicting interest. Dr. Thomas Petry is rather critical about the directive’s text as it undermines data protection standards in some member states, in particular when it comes to time limits of data storage. He sees an urgent need to change the text. He also argues that art. 6 of the existing framework decision, 2008/977/JHA, protects individuals better than art. 8 of the draft. He is also very much concerned about the lack of guarantees associated with the transfer of data to third countries.


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