DPOs may be optional after all

Leaked EU documents reveal that the current thinking within the EU Council of Ministers is that Data Protection Officers, (DPOs), would not be mandatory under the new EU DP regime. The proposed compromise deal would allow mandatory DPOs if stipulated by national law, but their tasks would be reduced. The UK government has been lobbying against mandatory DPOs.

Speaking at PL&B's 26th Annual International conference in Cambridge 1-3 July, Justice Minister, Lord Mc Nally, said that the proposal by the Irish Presidency (January to June 2013) to adopt a risk-based approach is very welcome. A "Risk-based approach should be the opposite to process-driven tick-box compliance - the focus should be on outcomes and not the process," he said.

He said that the new Lithuanian Presidency (July to December 2013) wants to carry on with the work done by the Irish and if a good deal becomes available, the UK will grab it with both hands. However, if no acceptable deal is reached, it is better to retain the current DP Directive. The UK essentially wants light-touch regulation backed up with self-regulation.

The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union are expected to start negotiations in September.