European Commission says only two member states ready for GDPR

New EU-wide data protection rules are due to come into force in late May

The European Commission said on Wednesday that to date, just two member states have passed all the necessary legislation required

The European Commission said on Wednesday that to date, just two member states have passed all the necessary legislation required

 

With just over 100 days left before the introduction of new wide-ranging data protection rules across Europe, the European Commission has warned member states to speed up the adoption of national legislation to ensure they are in line with GDPR.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is due to come into force in late May, governs the privacy practices of companies handling EU citizens’ data. The legislation aims to give control back to citizens and residents over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the regulation within the EU. There are potentially huge fines for firms that don’t abide by the new rules.

The European Commission said on Wednesday that to date, that Germany and Austria are the only member states who have passed all the necessary legislation needed to bring national laws into step with the new EU-wide regulations.

The commission, which is providing €1.7 million to fund data protection authorities ahead of the introduction of GDPR, also urged member states to ensure relevant bodies are equipped with the necessary resources.

In October, the Irish Government allocated an additional €4 million to the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner under Budget 2018 to allow it to recruit up to 40 new employees ahead of the introduction of GDPR to bring the total funding allocation to almost €11.7 million, a rise of 55 per cent on the prior year.

Compliant

In addition to providing funds for data protection authorities, the European Commission has also set aside a further €2 million to assist small and medium-sized businesses in ensuring they are compliant with the new rules. On Wednesday, it introduced a new online tool to help companies prepare for GDPR.

A number of recent studies have shown that companies across Europe are not ready for the legislation.

“In today’s world, the way we handle data will determine to a large extent our economic future and personal safety. We need modern rules to respond to new risks, so we call on EU governments, authorities and businesses to use the remaining time efficiently and fulfil their roles in the preparations for the big day,” said Vera Jourova, commissioner for justice, consumers and gender equality.