BritishAmerican Business Responds to the Ministry of Justice's 'Call for Evidence on EU Data Protection Proposals'
On 6 March 2012, BritishAmerican Business, the leading transatlantic business organization, responded to the Ministry of Justice's 'Call for Evidence on EU Data Protection Proposals'. The proposals, announced by the European Commission on 25 January, include key changes to the EU's 1995 data protection rules 'to strengthen online privacy rights and boost Europe's digital economy', and aim for a single set of rules on data protection across the 27 EU Member States.
In our response, we outlined our principal concerns about the impact of the proposals on our member companies and on the attractiveness of the UK and EU as a location for companies to invest, do business and create jobs. While we applauded the objective to harmonise the current data protection arrangements within the EU, we argued that the proposed reforms would have a potentially significant negative impact on our member companies.
Our specific concerns highlighted by our member companies included the draconian nature of the proposed fines, the need to declare immediately all apparent security breaches without proper time to assess the gravity of the breach, and the requirement for all companies with 250 or more employees to employ a data protection officer. We strongly urged the UK Government to conduct adequate consultation with the UK business community on the likely impact on UK companies and other companies operating within the UK, before the introduction of any resultant regulation.