EU: European Commission: Roadmaps for Impact Assessments: data protection in the EU and third countries, and potential data-sharing agreement with the USA

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EU: European Commission: Roadmaps for Impact Assessments:

- A new comprehensive framework for the protection of personal data in the EU (pdf): The new Article 16 under the Lisbon Treaty provides for a single legal basis to be applied to all EU institutions, bodies and agencies and to Member State activities carried out under EU law. The objective is to: "remove potential obstacles to the flows of personal data whilst giving effect to the fundamental right to personal data protection by ensuring a high level of protection within the EU", which echoes the Stockholm Programme - however, the latter makes clear that exceptions will be created for law enforcement, immigration and internal security purposes. The Roadmap also says that there is a problem where personal data is collected, processed and transferred on EU citizens by third countries.

- Recommendation from the Commission to the Council to authorise the opening of negotiations for an agreement with the United States of America on the protection of personal data transferred for the purpose of prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of serious criminal offences including terrorism (pdf): This is to be based on Final report of the High Level Contact Group on data protection and information sharing (pdf). The Commission refers to the scope being "serious criminal offences including terrorism" but the Stockholm Programme and the High Level Contact Group's Final report says it would cover: "law enforcement purposes", meaning use "for the prevention, detection, investigation or prosecution of any criminal offence." Also the Council and the Commission are keen to conclude a binding over-arching agreement with the USA quickly - to avoid future conflicts which have occurred over the PNR and SWIFT/TFTP agreements. But surely a long-term binding agreement should await the outcome of the EU's fundamental review of data protection above?

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