Vote on Data Protection:
- extracts from the vote on the reports by by Jan Philipp ALBRECHT (Greens/EFA, DE) and Dimitrios DROUTSAS (S&D, EL), rapporteurs
EP Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
Lieu: Strasbourg, France - European Parliament
End production: 21/10/2013 First transmission: 21/10/2013
A major overhaul of current EU data protection rules, to put people in control of their personal data while at the same time making it easier for companies to move across Europe, was voted by the Civil Liberties Committee on Monday. Responding to mass surveillance cases, MEPs inserted stronger safeguards for data transfers to non-EU countries. They also inserted an explicit consent requirement, a right to erasure, and bigger fines for firms that break the rules. According to the adopted text, if a third country requests a company (eg. a search engine, social network or cloud provider) to disclose personal information processed in the EU, the firm would have to seek authorisation from the national data protection authority before transferring any data. The company would also have to inform the person of such a request, MEPs say. This proposal is a response to the mass surveillance activities unveiled by the media in June 2013. Companies breaking the rules would face fines of up to €100 million or up to 5 % of the annual worldwide turnover, whichever is greater, MEPs say (the Commission proposed penalties of up to €1 million or 2% of the global annual turnover). According to the Civil Liberties Committee, any person would have the right to have their personal data erased if he/she requests it. To strengthen this right, if a person asks a "data controller" (e.g. an Internet company) to erase his/her data, the firm should also forward the request to others where the data are replicated. The "right to erasure" would cover the "right to be forgotten" as proposed by the Commission. The data protection package consists of two draft laws: a general regulation covering the bulk of personal data processing in the EU, both in public and private sectors, and a directive covering personal data processed to prevent, investigate or prosecute criminal offences or enforce criminal penalties (law enforcement). The current data protection directive dates from 1995, before the Internet came into widespread use, and does not cover data processed for law enforcement purposes. The new rules update existing data protection law principles to take account of the challenges posed by new information technologies, globalisation and the growing tendency to use personal data for law enforcement purposes. The committee vote also sets out Parliament's mandate to start negotiations with national governments in the Council. Inter-institutional talks will start as soon as the Council agrees on its own negotiating position for both proposals (directive and regulation). Parliament aims to reach an agreement on this major legislative reform before the May 2014 European elections. The negotiating mandate for the regulation was adopted by 51 votes to 1, with 3 abstentions. The negotiating mandate for the directive was adopted by 47 votes to 4, with 1 abstention.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior shot of the EP, Strasbourg.
||Ambience shots at the LIBE EP Committee before the voting session starts. Rapporteurs Jan Philipp ALBRECHT (Greens/EFA, DE) and Dimitrios DROUTSAS (S&D, EL), talking. TV crews and MEPs.
||Chair of the LIBE Committee, Juan-Fernando LOPEZ AGUILAR opens the vote on the regulation on data protection, report by Jan Philipp ALBRECHT (Greens/EFA, DE), cutaway on Rapporteur voting.
||Vote on the text as modified, ambience shots and result on screen: 49 votes in favour, 1 against and 3 abstentions.
||Vote on the mandate for negotiations with the Council: the negotiating mandate for the regulation is adopted by 51 votes to 1, with 3 abstentions. Applause and congratulations to Mr Albrecht.
||Chair of the LIBE Committee opens the vote on the directive, report by Dimitrios DROUTSAS (S&D, EL). Cutaways on the rapporteur.
||Screen with result on the vote of the text as modified: 29 votes in favour, 20 against and 3 abstentions. Applause.
||Vote on the mandate for negotiation: the negotiating mandate for the directive was adopted by 47 votes to 4, with 1 abstention. Applause and congratulations to rapporteurs by colleagues.
||SOUNDBITE (English) Jan Philipp ALBRECHT (Greens/EFA, DE), rapporteur: "I think the most important about this vote is that the EP shows clearly that strong data protection rules for all Europeans should be enforced and now the member states have to deliver their position on the regulation and then we can adopt it".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Jan Philipp ALBRECHT (Greens/EFA, DE), rapporteur: "This regulation gives strong individual rights to all people in Europe and it enforces these rights consistently everywhere in Europe by strong sanctions up to 5% of the yearly turnout of some company which infringes these rights. That will give effective rights to citizens".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Dimitrios DROUTSAS (S&D, EL), rapporteur: "The EP as a whole sent a very clear message to the European citizen that his interests are heard, the voices of the citizens are heard, the concerns taken serious, and I think it is a very clear message that the EP is sending that the protection of personal data of our citizens is very high in our agenda and I am very satisfied and grateful to all colleagues in the House that we could do it together, that we could send this common joint message as EP to our citizens, during a time when protection of personal date is becoming even more sensitive and important for our citizens".