Parliament's Justice Committee: EU DP proposals not practicable nor affordable

MPs largely agree with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) and the government over the proposals for an EU Data Protection Regulation, saying that the proposals are too prescriptive in their present form. ‘The Commission needs to go back to the drawing board and devise a regime which is much less prescriptive, particularly in the processes and procedures it specifies,” the MPs say.

They agree with the ICO that data protection principles should be consistent across both the EU DP draft Regulation and the EU DP draft Directive (the latter would be for police and law enforcement data). The requirement to appoint a Data Protection Officer should be based on the type of business and the sensitivity of data that is handled, rather than the number of employees.

The consistency mechanism and the establishment of the European Data Protection Board, to enable national DP Authorities to better coordinate their policies, are aspects that would enhance harmonisation. However, Member States' Data Protection Authorities should be entrusted to handle factors associated with compliance, such as fees, at national level.

The MPs challenge the government’s view about charging fees for subject access requests, and support the European Commission’s proposal for free access.

The Justice Committee’s report was published on 1 November.