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EC delays revision of data protection directive

Jenny Williams

The European Commission has announced a new schedule for the revision of the European Union Data Protection Directive, delaying legislative proposals for over a year, according to the French Information Commissioner's Office, CNIL.

Under pressure from CNIL and other authorities to allow more time for revisions to be made, the French data protection authority said instead of publishing proposals by the end of the year, as previously outlined by justice commissioner Viviane Reding, the EC will only make a statement. Legislative proposals will then be made in the second half of 2011.

Bridget Treacy, partner at law firm Hunton & Williams, said in a blog post that the timeframe alteration was expected.

"It is an ambitious project and an ambitious timeline and it is going to take a little time to get things in order. An indication to what might be revised will not be available in November but will come later. Due to the wealth of comments and active debate, it is not a surprise," she said.

The EC is currently considering 160 responses to a data protection consultation.

The UK Ministry of Justice has also released a call for evidence on the data protection legislative framework to help inform the UK's position on negotiations for the new EU data protection instrument. In the UK, national data rules are currently curtailed in several ways, leaving the standard of protection lower than required under EU rules, The EC aims to bring the UK in line with the EU's Data Protection Directive.


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