On October 21 the European Parliament’s LIBE Committee (Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs) has voted on working document n.2 from rapporteur Jan Philipp Albrecht on the status of the proposed European Regulation on Data Protection (http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meetdocs/2009_2014/organes/libe/libe_20131021_1830.htm).
The document is quite general and vague because, by admission of the rapporteur “ it is impossible at this stage to come up with a final answer to all pertinent questions raised”. The document examines in very broad terms the issues related to Data protection (the definition of personal data, the notion of consent, purpose limitation, profiling and territorial scope), without taking any significant position on any of the issues analyzed. According to the press release issued by the LIBE Committee, the LIBE Committee has expressed its position that a working table needs to be open with the Council, in order to reach agreement on the proposed regulation before the next European election, that shall take place in May 2014.
It appears very difficult, at this stage, that the Regulation shall be adopted before the end of the year, as originally stated, and it if the deadline of next elections is not met the schedule for adopting the Regulation shall be significantly different.
On the other hand there is one point to make: Datagate is making top news every day; now, it is clear that Datagate and the protection of personal data are different things to be tackled and resolved in different manners (espionage is quite different from processing of personal data).
This is obvious, but not necessarily obvious to our politicians, and it may well be the case that Datagate shall be a strong incentive to move faster with the approval of the Regulation. Of course this would be the right move to anyone who thinks that espionage may be stopped by the approval of the new Regulation.
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