EU Privacy Law Update

December 18, 2015 | Bryan Barajas

On December 15th, European Union (EU) officials reached an agreement on an EU-wide data privacy law that will supplant the existing 28 national laws. After nearly four years of negotiations and lobbying, the text of the proposed law has been finalized and will take effect two years after it is formally adopted by the European Parliament and EU governments. According to Vera Jourova, the EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers, and Gender Equality, “Citizens and businesses will profit from clear rules that are fit for the digital age, that give strong protection and at the same time create opportunities and encourage innovation in a European Digital Single Market.”

One of the most notable provisions of the law will subject multinational companies to fines of up to 4 percent of their annual global revenue for violations. According to The Wall Street Journal, the law will “tightly restrict how analytics and advertising companies can re-use data harvested from individuals, for example after they purchased a product or signed up for a service.”

While the agreement has been praised by privacy advocates as a model for the rest of the world, technology executives have expressed concern that the law will stifle innovation and burden their business operations in Europe.

On the other hand, EU officials maintain that the new law will give companies “legal certainty by creating one common data protection standard.”

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