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Data Protection: EPP Group calls for simplified rules for SMEs


30 Sep 2015


Innovation & Enterprise

New negotiation round today: EPP Group's SME Circle warns against "unmanageable red tape" through new data protection rules

"Yes to strong data protection, but simplified rules for small and medium-sized enterprises", say Axel Voss MEP and Michał Boni MEP. Voss is the EPP Group's negotiator for the ongoing harmonisation of EU data protection rules. Boni is a member of the EPP Group's SME Circle, a working group fighting against bureaucracy, which published a paper this week with ideas on how to avoid red tape when protecting personal data.

"By setting one rule instead of 28 different ones, the data protection reform lays the foundations of a true Digital Single Market. But we need a tailor-made regime for SMEs with clear exceptions", said Voss today on the margins of the ongoing trilogue negotiations between Parliament and EU Member States.

The obligations of SMEs should vary depending on the privacy risk.

Michał Boni MEP

The EPP Group's SME Circle warned against "unmanageable red tape" through the new data protection rules. Boni has called for a risk-based approach. "Not all personal data is equally sensitive. The obligations of SMEs should vary depending on the type of data processing and the privacy risk", explained the former Polish Minister of Digital Affairs.

Voss and Boni want to free SMEs from the duty of naming a 'data protection officer'. "The idea of the Council letting every Member State decide whether a data protection officer is compulsory or not could lead to inequalities", stressed Boni.

"Cutting red tape, eliminating excessive documentation and limiting the scope of information are, amongst others, the issues the EPP Group is fighting for in the ongoing negotiations", explained Voss.

The fourth round of negotiations between Parliament, Member States and the European Commission took place yesterday and today. An agreement is expected before the end of the year.