EU Commission takes stock of the GDPR

Speaking today at a GDPR event organised by European Commission's Justice and Consumers DG, Commissioner Věra Jourová said that the Commission is preparing a modernised version of the Standard Contractual Clauses. She said that the Commission will issue a policy paper on the functioning of the GDPR later this month or in July.

Three Member States - Greece, Slovenia and Portugal - have not yet adopted new national GDPR-style laws. Jourová said that the Commission is now assessing the details of the new national data protection laws in the other Member States. We will need to avoid fragmentation, she said.

The Commission expects uniform application across the EU and a pragmatic enforcement culture at the European Data Protection Board (EDPB). The Board is now dealing with 470 cross-border cases, but has not become a sanctioning machine, she said. “The fines will come. The success of the GDPR should not be measured by the amount of fines issued.”

Giovanni Buttarelli, European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) said that the Data Protection Authorities should also use their powers to block data processing as it would be more effective than fines. “Data controllers also have to better respect the spirit of the GDPR,” he said.

Buttarelli, whose office provides the secretariat for the EDPB, also called for more resources for the secretariat to deal with the heavy workload involved with cross border cases.