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Revision of Data Protection Directive on fast track

All of a sudden there is a real urgency to the revision of the European Data Protection Directive on which the UK’s next DP law will be based. With just a few days notice, the European Commission issued a questionnaire asking stakeholders for their views on everything from profiling, the “right to be forgotten” and compulsory breach notification. 60 questions later the direct marketing community might well lose the will to live but this is a vital stage of consultation based on the concerns which were raised by consumers last year (and possibly some of the pet hates of the regulators). A draft is likely to emerge later this year with a 2-3 year implementation plan but the general feeling in the UK is that rushed legislation is likely to be bad legislation.

Meanwhile the Ministry of Justice has announced a call for evidence on data protection legislation giving an October deadline for responses.  The Ministry wants to know how the current Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and the Data Protection Act 1998 are working, and their impact on individuals and organisations.  This ‘evidence gathering exercise’ provides another opportunity for the marketing trade associations (FEDMA and the UK DMA) to put the case for a continued lighter touch regime.

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