Francoise Gilbert

A revised draft of the proposed EU Data Protection Regulation was approved by the EU Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs on October 21, 2013.

Overall, the amendments strengthen privacy rights of EU residents. The most significant amendment is probably that which sets the maximum fine in case of a violation of the new law. The original draft regulation had set the maximum fine at 1,000,000 Euros or 2% of a company’s worldwide income and had adopted a tiered approach. After this recent set of amendments, fines could reach up to 100,000,000 Euros or up to 5% of a company’s annual worldwide income, whichever is greater.


The text of the Regulation is not final, and much can change in the next few months.  The next step is to submit the amended text to the European Union Council and the European Commission for their review and approval. After that, the proposed Regulation would be submitted to the European Parliament. In the meantime, new amendments may be made along the way, causing more delays.


The final vote is not likely to take place before May 2014. If an agreement is not reached before the Parliament closes down for the elections, the negotiation over the text of the draft regulation could continue in the next session. In this case, much delay might ensue if there were a change in the balance of powers.

The text of the approved amendment is available here.