On 21 October 2013, Civil Liberties MEPs voted on a major overhaul of current EU data protection rules that will likely impact charities across Member States.
The regulatory reform aims to put people in control of their personal data, but there are concerns that the proposed changes may come at an additional cost and administrative burden to charities and other organisations.
Of particular concern is the proposal for an external data controller to be employed for organisations with more than 250 employees or 5,000 data contacts on your system. Many small community-based voluntary organisations such as sports clubs would be required to make such appointments.
Civil Liberties MEPs also inserted the requirement for explicit consent to be given before processing data and the ‘right to erasure’, allowing individuals to have their personal data removed.
After the vote, Jan Philipp Albrecht, Green Party MEP and Rapporteur for data protection regulator, said: “Parliament now has a clear mandate to start negotiations with EU governments. The ball is now in the court of member state governments to agree a position and start negotiations, so we can respond to citizens' interests and deliver an urgently-needed update of EU data protection rules without delay.”
The vote sets out Parliament's mandate to start negotiations with national governments in the Council, with the aim of reaching an agreement on major legislative reform before the May 2014 European elections. When passed through Parliament, the new rules will replace the current patchwork of national laws.
Nonprofits are encouraged to review the proposal and engage with their national parliamentary representatives and government to ensure that their views can form part of their nation's response.
For further information about the consultation process and more, click here.