The completion of the Data Protection Regulation faced another set-back last Friday (December 6, 2013) at the Council of Ministers, in which there was a fundamental disagreement surrounding the proposed “one-stop shop.” This proposal seeks to allow multinational companies to deal only with the privacy regulator of the member state in which the company is established, thereby streamlining enforcement.
Despite previous support for the proposals, legal services counsel for the Council of Ministers raised opposition at the meeting on Friday, claiming that the one-stop shop was designed for data controllers at the expense of data subjects, with the likely impact of breaching the human rights of European citizens. Furthermore, it was claimed that the one-stop shop would promote “forum shopping” whereby large multinationals would establish themselves in member states with perceived weak regulators.
European Commission Vice President Viviane Reding countered these arguments, claiming the reform’s enhancement of citizens’ rights, given that individuals “will always be able to go to their local data protection authority.” With efforts to finalize the data protection reform legislation now stalled, Ms Reding added, “I hope, therefore, that what we leave behind today, will be picked up with renewed energy, and a clear political commitment by the [incoming] Greek presidency in January”.
For further details, please see the Council’s press release.