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Friday 20.10.2017 | Name days: Leonīda, Leonīds

Parliamentary groups in Brussels struggle around controversial EU data protection bill

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Author: PantherMedia/SCANPIX
While drafting an amendment proposal for Data protection directive, protection of fundamental rights collides with business interests, and just as evidently – political and ideological divisions collide between European Parliament political groups.

On May15, Greek socialist MEP Dimitrios Droutsas told: «I can see a shift towards more of the «protection» of business interests and not the protection of citizen’s fundamental rights». Droutsas is the parliament’s lead negotiator on the data protection bill, EU Observer reports.

The draft law consists of a regulation and a directive. The regulation aims to balance privacy rights and business interest. The directive concerns the same issue of citizen’s rights but in relation to public authorities like the police. The bill is being prepared to update the 1995 data protection directive and it is aimed at harmonising data protection rules across all 27 EU member states.

The debated amendments include those that weaken the definition of consent, allow profiling, remove a person’s control of his personal data, entitle businesses to use data if they believe it is in their «best interest» to do so, and exclude pseudonymous data from protection.

The combined bill is one of the parliament’s most lobbied draft bills ever. Over 4,000 amendments have been proposed. Representatives of the US government and industry giants have assisted in putting forward many of the amendments via the parliament’s two largest groups, the centre – right and the liberals.

The groups are now attempting to reach a compromise text before it goes to a plenary session for a vote.

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