Eversheds’ Paula Barrett says draft EU data protection regulation rules are ‘a step back’

Paula Barrett, head of privacy and information law at Eversheds, has commented on the vote of the European Parliament Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee to back a package of changes to EU data protection rules.

Barrett said: ‘Those in favour of the draft EU data protection regulation will be breathing a sigh of relief that a significant step forward has occurred over the past 24 hours. It was by no means certain the proposals would get this far, with approximately 4,000 proposed amendments having been submitted to the draft.

‘It is some feat that this has been consolidated down into the 104 compromise agreements that were voted on yesterday [21 October 2013] evening. However, it’s not yet law though.’

If passed, the draft regulation, said Barrett, will have a significant impact on all businesses that handle personal data, and rather than softening the approach of the commission the amendments in several cases take a tougher line.

She added: ‘This is a step back in some cases for those who hoped that some business-friendly lobbying would ease the operational impact of compliance.’