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Amongst a number of themes and issues that are raised on a regular basis at our monthly Customer Data Management Group (CDMG) meetings, data protection and the need for harmonisation are consistently top contenders.
Recently, CDMG has covered the OECD Common Reporting Standard, MiFID II and the new Market Abuse Regulation, and will next be looking at regulations that focus on the asset management industry. Without fail, one of the greatest concerns is the lack of consistency in data protection law, both globally and in Europe. Whilst global harmonisation is a way off, EU regulation is a hot topic with various rules due to come into effect in the next few years.
The GDPR will replace the existing data protection directive and is intended to provide greater consistency of protection across Europe. The European Commission published a first draft in January 2012 and the European Parliament was accepting multiple amendments in March 2014. More recently, the Council has taken a general approach, representing a significant step forward, by forming the basis for trilogue negotiations with the Parliament and the Commission. However, it should be emphasised that the directive remains a draft and nothing more. It is anticipated that a final text will appear at some point mid-2016 to change the landscape of EU data protection.
The new directive is intended to bring synchronisation throughout EU states and their data protection laws. But the political wrangling which has caused the delay means that agreement of harmonisation still remains a distant dream, and nothing more than a draft directive, for those concerned.
If achieved, the new level of harmonisation will mean higher standards being imposed. Firms will need to put in place new procedures and policies to ensure compliance with the new directive. Whilst it seems that the proposal is still in early stages, the new directive will require much more from controllers and introduce new obligations for those who process data.
Article originally published here.