European Parliament adopts Data Protection Regulation
Today the European Parliament has formally adopted the EU Data Protection Regulation. It will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the EU Official Journal, which is expected to take place in Summer 2016. The Regulation will then be directly applicable in Member States two years later, in Summer 2018. The adoption of the Regulation by Parliament is the final stage of what has been a lengthy process aimed at modernising and strengthening Europe’s Data Protection laws. In a joint statement issued by the European Commission the vote was described as “a significant achievement, and the culmination of over four years of hard work with the European Parliament, the Council, business, civil society and other stakeholders... Our work in creating first-rate data protection rules providing for the world's highest standard of protection is complete. Now we must work together to implement these new standards across the EU so citizens and businesses can enjoy the benefits as soon as possible.” Whether these are in fact ‘first rate’ rules will remain to be seen as businesses and practitioners start to have to grapple with them in practice.