European Commission Proposed Data Protection Law

On January 25, 2012, the European Commission released a proposed General Data Protection Legislation (“Proposed Regulation”) for comprehensive reform of existing European Union (“EU”) data protection rules.  Through the Proposed Regulation, the European Commission seeks to “strengthen online privacy rights and boost Europe’s digital economy.”[1] The Proposed Regulation also aims to harmonize data protection rules throughout the EU.  The current governing law is the 1995 EU Data Protection Directive, which has been implemented differently by the 27 member states.  As a result, the current law has led to different requirements for compliance and uncertain enforcement across the EU.  In contrast, the Proposed Regulation is self-implementing and applies directly; therefore, it works to harmonize the law across the EU. Continue reading