Data Protection Safeguards Consultation Begins

The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Mr Alan Shatter, T.D., has launched a consultation process on the European Commission’s proposal for a new Regulation on data protection standards within the EU.

The proposed Regulation is intended to replace the 1995 Data Protection Directive which sets standards for the protection of personal data and transfer of such data within the internal market and to countries outside the EU. The Directive was transposed into Irish law in the Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003.

The proposed new Regulation seeks to update the rules contained in the 1995 Directive in order to take account of the extensive technological change and globalisation which have taken place in the 17 years since the Directive was adopted.

Detailed discussion of the European Commission’s proposals will take place in the coming months. Minister Shatter indicated that Ireland’s overall objective in the negotiations will be to ensure continued protection of the personal data of individuals while at the same time ensuring the free flow of such data within the internal market and, subject to appropriate safeguards, to countries and destinations outside the EEA.

Interested bodies and individuals may submit their comments and suggestions regarding the proposals contained in the draft Regulation by 30 March 2012.


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