Explanatory Memorandum to COM(2012)11 - Protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation)

Please note

This page contains a limited version of this dossier in the EU Monitor.


This explanatory memorandum presents in further detail the proposed new legal framework for the protection of personal data in the EU as set out in Communication COM (2012) 9 final i. The proposed new legal framework consists of two legislative proposals:

– a proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation), and

– a proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by competent authorities for the purposes of prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties, and the free movement of such data.

This explanatory memorandum concerns the legislative proposal for a General Data Protection Regulation.

The centrepiece of existing EU legislation on personal data protection, Directive 95/46/EC i, was adopted in 1995 with two objectives in mind: to protect the fundamental right to data protection and to guarantee the free flow of personal data between Member States. It was complemented by Framework Decision 2008/977/JHA as a general instrument at Union level for the protection of personal data in the areas of police co-operation and judicial co-operation in criminal matters.

Rapid technological developments have brought new challenges for the protection of personal data. The scale of data sharing and collecting has increased dramatically. Technology allows both private companies and public authorities to make use of personal data on an unprecedented scale in order to pursue their activities. Individuals increasingly make personal information available publicly and globally. Technology has transformed both the economy and social life.

Building trust in the online environment is key to economic development. Lack of trust makes consumers hesitate to buy online and adopt new services. This risks slowing down the development of innovative uses of new technologies. Personal data protection therefore plays a central role in the Digital Agenda for Europe, and more generally in the Europe 2020 Strategy i.

Article 16 i of Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), as introduced by the Lisbon Treaty, establishes the principle that everyone has the right to the protection of personal data concerning him or her. Moreover, with Article 16 TFEU, the Lisbon Treaty introduced a specific legal basis for the adoption of rules on the protection of personal data. Article 8 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU enshrines protection of personal data as a fundamental right.

The European Council invited the Commission to evaluate the functioning of EU instruments on data protection and to present, where necessary, further legislative and non-legislative initiatives[7]. In its resolution on the Stockholm Programme, the European Parliament[8] welcomed a comprehensive data protection scheme in the EU and among others called for the revision of the Framework Decision. The Commission stressed in its Action Plan implementing the Stockholm Programme[9] the need to ensure that the fundamental right to personal data protection is consistently applied in the context of all EU policies.

In its Communication on “A comprehensive approach on personal data protection in the European Union”[10], the Commission concluded that the EU needs a more comprehensive and coherent policy on the fundamental right to personal data protection.

The current framework remains sound as far as its objectives and principles are concerned, but it has not prevented fragmentation in the way personal data protection is implemented across the Union, legal uncertainty and a widespread public perception that there are significant risks associated notably with online activity[11]. This is why it is time to build a stronger and more coherent data protection framework in the EU, backed by strong enforcement that will allow the digital economy to develop across the internal market, put individuals in control of their own data and reinforce legal and practical certainty for economic operators and public authorities.



This initiative is the result of extensive consultations with all major stakeholders on a review of the current legal framework for the protection of personal data, which lasted for more than two years and included a high level conference in May 2009[12] and two phases of public consultation:

– From 9 July to 31 December 2009, the Consultation on the legal framework for the fundamental right to the protection of personal data. The Commission received 168 responses, 127 from individuals, business organisations and associations and 12 from public authorities.[13]

– From 4 November 2010 to 15 January 2011, the Consultation on the Commission's comprehensive approach on personal data protection in the European Union. The Commission received 305 responses, of which 54 from citizens, 31 from public authorities and 220 from private organisations, in particular business associations and non-governmental organisations.[14]

Targeted consultations were also conducted with key stakeholders; specific events were organised in June and July 2010 with Member State authorities and with private sector stakeholders, as well as privacy, data protection and consumers' organisations[15]. In November 2010, European Commission’s Vice-President Reding organised a roundtable on the data protection reform. On 28 January 2011 (Data Protection Day), the European Commission and the Council of Europe co-organised a high level conference to discuss issues related to the reform of the EU legal framework as well as to the need for common data protection standards worldwide[16]. Two conferences on data protection were hosted by the Hungarian and Polish Presidencies of the Council on 16-17 June 2011 and on 21 September 2011 respectively.

Dedicated workshops and seminars on specific issues were held throughout 2011. In January ENISA[17] organised a workshop on data breach notifications in Europe[18]. In February, the Commission convened a workshop with Member States' authorities to discuss data protection issues in the area of police co-operation and judicial co-operation in criminal matters, including the implementation of the Framework Decision, and the Fundamental Rights Agency held a stakeholder consultation meeting on 'Data Protection and Privacy'. A discussion on key issues of the reform was held on 13 July 2011 with national Data Protection Authorities. EU citizens were consulted through a Eurobarometer survey held in November-December 2010[19]. A number of studies were also launched.[20] The “Article 29 Working Party”[21] provided several opinions and useful input to the Commission[22]. The European Data Protection Supervisor also issued a comprehensive opinion on the issues raised in the Commission's November 2010 Communication[23].

The European Parliament approved by its resolution of 6 July 2011 a report that supported the Commission’s approach to reforming the data protection framework.[24] The Council of the European Union adopted conclusions on 24 February 2011 in which it broadly supports the Commission's intention to reform the data protection framework and agrees with many elements of the Commission's approach. The European Economic and Social Committee likewise supported the Commission's aim to ensure a more consistent application of EU data [25]protection rules across all Member States an appropriate revision of Directive 95/46/EC.[26]

During the consultations on the comprehensive approach, a large majority of stakeholders agreed that the general principles remain valid but that there is a need to adapt the current framework in order to better respond to challenges posed by the rapid development of new technologies (particularly online) and increasing globalisation, while maintaining the technological neutrality of the legal framework. Heavy criticism has been expressed regarding the current fragmentation of personal data protection in the Union, in particular by economic stakeholders who asked for increased legal certainty and harmonisation of the rules on the protection of personal data. The complexity of the rules on international transfers of personal data is considered as constituting a substantial impediment to their operations as they regularly need to transfer personal data from the EU to other parts of the world.

In line with its “Better Regulation” policy, the Commission conducted an impact assessment of policy alternatives. The impact assessment was based on the three policy objectives of improving the internal market dimension of data protection, making the exercise of data protection rights by individuals more effective and creating a comprehensive and coherent framework covering all areas of Union competence, including police co-operation and judicial co-operation in criminal matters. Three policy options of different degrees of intervention were assessed: the first option consisted of minimal legislative amendments and the use of interpretative Communications and policy support measures such as funding programmes and technical tools; the second option comprised a set of legislative provisions addressing each of the issues identified in the analysis and the third option was the centralisation of data protection at EU level through precise and detailed rules for all sectors and the establishment of an EU agency for monitoring and enforcement of the provisions.

According to the Commission's established methodology, each policy option was assessed, with the help of an Interservice steering group, against its effectiveness to achieve the policy objectives, its economic impact on stakeholders (including on the budget of the EU institutions), its social impact and effect on fundamental rights. Environmental impacts were not observed. The analysis of the overall impact led to the development of the preferred policy option which is based on the second option with some elements from the other two options and incorporated in the present proposal. According to the impact assessment, its implementation will lead inter alia to considerable improvements regarding legal certainty for data controllers and citizens, reduction of administrative burden, consistency of data protection enforcement in the Union, the effective possibility of individuals to exercise their data protection rights to the protection of personal data within the EU and the efficiency of data protection supervision and enforcement. Implementation of the preferred policy options are also expected to contribute to the Commission's objective of simplification and reduction of administrative burden and to the objectives of the Digital Agenda for Europe, the Stockholm Action Plan and the Europe 2020 strategy.

The Impact Assessment Board delivered an opinion on the draft impact assessment on 9 September 2011. Following the IAB opinion, the following changes were made to the impact assessment:

– The objectives of the current legal framework (to what extent they were achieved, and to what extent they were not), as well as the objectives of the envisaged reform were clarified;

– More evidence and additional explanations/clarification were added to the problems' definition section;

– A section on proportionality was added;

– All calculations and estimations related to administrative burden in the baseline scenario and in the preferred option have been entirely reviewed and revised, and the relation between the costs of notifications and the overall fragmentation costs has been clarified (including Annex 10);

– Impacts on micro, small and medium enterprises, particularly of data protection officers and data protection impact assessments have been better specified.

The impact assessment report and an executive summary are published with the proposals.



This proposal is based on Article 16 TFEU, which is the new legal basis for the adoption of data protection rules introduced by the Lisbon Treaty. This provision allows the adoption of rules relating to the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by Member States when carrying out activities which fall within the scope of Union law. It also allows the adoption of rules relating to the free movement of personal data, including personal data processed by Member States or private parties.

A Regulation is considered to be the most appropriate legal instrument to define the framework for the protection of personal data in the Union. The direct applicability of a Regulation in accordance with Article 288 TFEU will reduce legal fragmentation and provide greater legal certainty by introducing a harmonised set of core rules, improving the protection of fundamental rights of individuals and contributing to the functioning of the Internal Market.

The reference to Article 114 i TFEU is only necessary for amending Directive 2002/58/EC to the extent that that Directive also provides for the protection of the legitimate interests of subscribers who are legal persons.


3.2. Subsidiarity and proportionality

According to the principle of subsidiarity (Article 5 i TEU), action at Union level shall be taken only if and in so far as the objectives envisaged cannot be achieved sufficiently by Member States, but can rather, by reason of the scale or effects of the proposed action, be better achieved by the Union. In the light of the problems outlined above, the analysis of subsidiarity indicates the necessity of EU-level action on the following grounds:

– The right to the protection of personal data, enshrined in Article 8 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, requires the same level of data protection throughout the Union. The absence of common EU rules would create the risk of different levels of protection in the Member States and create restrictions on cross-border flows of personal data between Member States with different standards.

– Personal data are transferred across national boundaries, both internal and external borders, at rapidly increasing rates. In addition, there are practical challenges to enforcing data protection legislation and a need for co-operation between Member States and their authorities, which needs to be organised at EU level to ensure unity of application of Union law. The EU is also best placed to ensure effectively and consistently the same level of protection for individuals when their personal data are transferred to third countries.

– Member States cannot alone reduce the problems in the current situation, particularly those due to the fragmentation in national legislations. Thus, there is a specific need to establish a harmonised and coherent framework allowing for a smooth transfer of personal data across borders within the EU while ensuring effective protection for all individuals across the EU.

– The proposed EU legislative actions will be more effective than similar actions at the level of Member States because of the nature and scale of the problems, which are not confined to the level of one or several Member States.

The principle of proportionality requires that any intervention is targeted and does not go beyond what is necessary to achieve the objectives. This principle has guided the preparation of this proposal from the identification and evaluation of alternative policy options to the drafting of the legislative proposal.


3.3. Summary of fundamental rights issues

The right to protection of personal data is established by Article 8 of the Charter and Article 16 TFEU and in Article 8 of the ECHR. As underlined by the Court of Justice of the EU[27], the right to the protection of personal data is not an absolute right, but must be considered in relation to its function in society[28]. Data protection is closely linked to respect for private and family life protected by Article 7 of the Charter. This is reflected by Article 1 i of Directive 95/46/EC which provides that Member States shall protect fundamental rights and freedoms of natural persons and in particular their right to privacy with respect of the processing of personal data.

Other potentially affected fundamental rights enshrined in the Charter are the following: freedom of expression (Article 11 of the Charter); freedom to conduct a business (Article 16); the right to property and in particular the protection of intellectual property (Article 17(2)); the prohibition of any discrimination amongst others on grounds such as race, ethnic origin, genetic features, religion or belief, political opinion or any other opinion, disability or sexual orientation (Article 21); the rights of the child (Article 24); the right to a high level of human health care (Article 35); the right of access to documents (Article 42); the right to an effective remedy and a fair trial (Article 47).


3.4. Detailed explanation of the proposal 3.4.1. CHAPTER I - GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1 defines subject matter of the Regulation, and, as in Article 1 of Directive 95/46/EC, sets out the two objectives of the Regulation.

Article 2 determines the material scope of the Regulation.

Article 3 determines the territorial scope of the Regulation.

Article 4 contains definitions of terms used in the Regulation. While some definitions are taken over from Directive 95/46/EC, others are modified, complemented with additional elements, or newly introduced (‘personal data breach’ based on Article 2(h) of the e-privacy Directive 2002/58/EC[29] as amended by Directive 2009/136/EC[30], ‘genetic data’, ‘biometric data’, ‘data concerning health’, ‘main establishment’, ‘representative’, ‘enterprise’, ‘group of undertakings’, ‘binding corporate rules’, and of a ‘child’ which is based on the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child[31], and supervisory authority).

In the definition of consent, the criterion explicit is added to avoid confusing parallelism with unambiguous consent and in order to have one single and consistent definition of consent, ensuring the awareness of the data subject that, and to what, he or she gives consent.



Article 5 sets out the principles relating to personal data processing, which correspond to those in Article 6 of Directive 95/46/EC. Additional new elements are in particular the transparency principle, the clarification of the data minimisation principle and the establishment of a comprehensive responsibility and liability of the controller.

Article 6 sets out, based on Article 7 of Directive 95/46/EC, the criteria for lawful processing, which are further specified as regards the balance of interest criterion, and the compliance with legal obligations and public interest.

Article 7 clarifies the conditions for consent to be valid as a legal ground for lawful processing.

Article 8 sets out further conditions for the lawfulness of the processing of personal data of children in relation to information society services offered directly to them.

Article 9 sets out the general prohibition for processing special categories of personal data and the exceptions from this general rule, building on Article 8 of the Directive 95/46/EC.

Article 10 clarifies that the controller is not obliged to acquire additional information in order to identify the data subject for the sole purpose of complying with any provision of this Regulation.

3.4.3. CHAPTER III - RIGHTS OF THE DATA SUBJECT Section 1 – Transparency and modalities

Article 11 introduces the obligation on controllers to provide transparent and easily accessible and understandable information, inspired in particular by the Madrid Resolution on international standards on the protection of personal data and privacy[32].

Article 12 obliges the controller to provide procedures and mechanism for exercising the data subject's rights, including means for electronic requests, requiring response to the data subject's request within a defined deadline, and the motivation of refusals.

Article 13 provides rights in relation to recipients, based on Article 12(c) of Directive 95/46/EC, extended to all recipients, including joint controllers and processors. Section 2 – Information and access to data

Article 14 further specifies the controller's information obligations towards the data subject, building on Articles 10 and 11 of Directive 95/46/EC, providing additional information to the data subject, including on the storage period, the right to lodge a complaint, in relation to international transfers and to the source from which the data are originating. It also maintains the possible derogations in Directive 95/46/EC, e.g. there will be no such obligation if the recording or disclosure are expressly provided by law. This could apply for example in proceedings by competition authorities, tax or customs administrations, or services competent for social security matters.

Article 15 provides the data subject's right of access to their personal data, building on Article 12(a) of Directive 95/46/EC and adding new elements, such as to inform the data subjects of the storage period, and of the rights to rectification and to erasure and to lodge a complaint. Section 3 – Rectification and erasure

Article 16 sets out the data subject's right to rectification, based on Article 12(b) of Directive 95/46/EC.

Article 17 provides the data subject's right to be forgotten and to erasure. It further elaborates and specifies the right of erasure provided for in Article 12(b) of Directive 95/46/EC and provides the conditions of the right to be forgotten, including the obligation of the controller which has made the personal data public to inform third parties on the data subject's request to erase any links to, or copy or replication of that personal data. It also integrates the right to have the processing restricted in certain cases, avoiding the ambiguous terminology “blocking”.

Article 18 introduces the data subject's right to data portability, i.e. to transfer data from one electronic processing system to and into another, without being prevented from doing so by the controller. As a precondition and in order to further improve access of individuals to their personal data, it provides the right to obtain from the controller those data in a structured and commonly used electronic format. Section 4 – Right to object and profiling

Article 19 provides for the data subject's rights to object. It is based on Article 14 of Directive 95/46/EC, with some modifications, including as regards the burden of proof and its application to direct marketing.

Article 20 concerns the data subject's right not to be subject to a measure based on profiling. It builds on, with modifications and additional safeguards, Article 15 i of Directive 95/46 on automated individual decisions, and takes account of the Council of Europe's recommendation on profiling[33]. Section 5 – Restrictions

Article 21 clarifies the empowerment for the Union or Member States to maintain or introduce restrictions of principles laid down in Article 5 and of the data subject's rights laid down in Articles 11 to 20 and in Article 32. This provision is based on Article 13 of Directive 95/46/EC and on the requirements stemming from the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, as interpreted by the Court of Justice of the EU and the European Court of Human Rights.

3.4.4. CHAPTER IV - CONTROLLER AND PROCESSOR Section 1 – General obligations

Article 22 takes account of the debate on a 'principle of accountability' and describes in detail the obligation of responsibility of the controller to comply with this Regulation and to demonstrate this compliance, including by way of adoption of internal policies and mechanisms for ensuring such compliance.

Article 23 sets out the obligations of the controller arising from the principles of data protection by design and by default.

Article 24 on joint controllers clarifies the responsibilities of joint controllers as regards their internal relationship and towards the data subject.

Article 25 obliges under certain conditions controllers not established in the Union, where the Regulation applies to their processing activities, to designate a representative in the Union.

Article 26 clarifies the position and obligation of processors, partly based on Article 17 of Directive 95/46/EC, and adding new elements, including that a processor who processes data beyond the controller's instructions is to be considered as a joint controller.

Article 27 on the processing under the authority of the controller and processor is based on Article 16 of Directive 95/46/EC.

Article 28 introduces the obligation for controllers and processors to maintain documentation of the processing operations under their responsibility, instead of a general notification to the supervisory authority required by Articles 18 i and 19 of Directive 95/46/EC.

Article 29 clarifies the obligations of the controller and the processor for the co-operation with the supervisory authority. Section 2 – Data security

Article 30 obliges the controller and the processor to implement appropriate measures for the security of processing, based on Article 17 i of Directive 95/46/EC, extending that obligation to processors, irrespective of the contract with the controller.

Articles 31 and 32 introduce an obligation to notify personal data breaches, building on the personal data breach notification in Article 4 i of the e-privacy Directive 2002/58/EC. Section 3 – Data protection impact assessment and prior authorisation

Article 33 introduces the obligation of controllers and processors to carry out a data protection impact assessment prior to risky processing operations.

Article 34 concerns the cases where authorisation by, and consultation of, the supervisory authority is mandatory prior to the processing, building on the concept of prior checking in Article 20 of Directive 95/46/EC. Section 4 – Data protection officer

Article 35 introduces a mandatory data protection officer for the public sector, and, in the private sector, for large enterprises or where the core activities of the controller or processor consist of processing operations which require regular and systematic monitoring. This builds on Article 18 of Directive 95/46/EC which provided the possibility for Member States to introduce such requirement as a surrogate of a general notification requirement.

Article 36 sets out the position of the data protection officer.

Article 37 provides the core tasks of the data protection officer. Section 5 – Codes of conduct and certification

Article 38 concerns codes of conduct, building on the concept of Article 27 i of Directive 95/46/EC, clarifying the content of the codes and the procedures and providing for the empowerment of the Commission to decide on the general validity of codes of conduct.

Article 39 introduces the possibility to establish certification mechanisms and data protection seals and marks.



Article 40 spells out, as a general principle, that the compliance with the obligations in that chapter are mandatory for any transfers of personal data to third countries or international organisations, including onward transfers.

Article 41 sets out the criteria, conditions and procedures for the adoption of an adequacy decision by the Commission, based on Article 25 of Directive 95/46/EC. The criteria which shall be taken into account for the Commission’s assessment of an adequate or not adequate level of protection include expressly the rule of law, judicial redress and independent supervision. The article now confirms explicitly the possibility for the Commission to assess the level of protection afforded by a territory or a processing sector within a third country.

Article 42 requires for transfers to third countries, where no adequacy decision has been adopted by the Commission, to adduce appropriate safeguards, in particular standard data protection clauses, binding corporate rules and contractual clauses. The possibility of making use of Commission standard data protection clauses is based on Article 26 of Directive 95/46/EC. As a new component, such standard data protection clauses may now also be adopted by a supervisory authority and be declared generally valid by the Commission. Binding corporate rules are now specifically mentioned in the legal text. The option of contractual clauses gives certain flexibility to the controller or processor, but is subject to prior authorisation by supervisory authorities.

Article 43 describes in further detail the conditions for transfers by way of binding corporate rules, based on the current practices and requirements of supervisory authorities.

Article 44 spells out and clarifies the derogations for a data transfer, based on the existing provisions of Article 26 of Directive 95/46/EC. This applies in particular to data transfers required and necessary for the protection of important grounds of public interest, for example in cases of international data transfers between competition authorities, tax or customs administrations, or between services competent for social security matters or for fisheries management. In addition, a data transfer may, under limited circumstances, be justified on a legitimate interest of the controller or processor, but only after having assessed and documented the circumstances of that transfer operation.

Article 45 explicitly provides for international co-operation mechanisms for the protection of personal data between the Commission and the supervisory authorities of third countries, in particular those considered offering an adequate level of protection, taking into account the Recommendation by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on cross-border co-operation in the enforcement of laws protecting privacy of 12 June 2007.


Article 46 obliges Member States to establish supervisory authorities, based on Article 28 i of Directive 95/46/EC and enlarging the mission of the supervisory authorities to co-operation with each other and with the Commission.

Article 47 clarifies the conditions for the independence of supervisory authorities, implementing case law by the Court of Justice of the European Union[34], inspired also by Article 44 of Regulation (EC) No 45/2001[35].

Article 48 provides general conditions for the members of the supervisory authority, implementing the relevant case law[36] and inspired also by Article 42 to i of Regulation (EC) 45/2001.

Article 49 sets out rules on the establishment of the supervisory authority to be provided by the Member States by law.

Article 50 lays down professional secrecy of the members and staff of the supervisory authority and is based on Article 28(7) of Directive 95/46/EC. Section 2 – Duties and powers

Article 51 sets out the competence of the supervisory authorities. The general rule, based on Article 28 i of Directive 95/46/EC (competency on the territory of its own Member State), is complemented by the new competence as lead authority in case that a controller or processor is established in several Member States, to ensure unity of application ('one-stop shop'). Courts, when acting in their judicial authority, are exempted from the monitoring by the supervisory authority, but not from the application of the substantive rules on data protection.

Article 52 provides the duties of the supervisory authority, including hearing and investigating complaints and promoting the awareness of the public of risks, rules, safeguards and rights.

Article 53 provides the powers of the supervisory authority, in parts building on Article 28 i of Directive 95/46/EC and Article 47 of Regulation (EC) 45/2001, and adding some new elements, including the power to sanction administrative offences.

Article 54 obliges the supervisory authorities to draw up annual activity reports, based on Article 28 of Directive 95/46/EC.

3.4.7. CHAPTER VII - CO-OPERATION AND CONSISTENCY Section 1 – Co-operation

Article 55 introduces explicit rules on mandatory mutual assistance, including consequences for non-compliance with the request of another supervisory, building on Article 28 i, second subparagraph, of Directive 95/46/EC.

Article 56 introduces rules on joint operations, inspired by Article 17 of Council Decision 2008/615/JHA[37], including a right of supervisory authorities to participate in such operations. Section 2 – Consistency

Article 57 introduces a consistency mechanism for ensuring unity of application in relation to processing operations which may concern data subjects in several Member States.

Article 58 sets out the procedures and conditions for an opinion of the European Data Protection Board.

Article 59 concerns Commission opinions on matters dealt within the consistency mechanism, which may either reinforce the opinion of the European Data Protection Board or express a divergence with that opinion, and the draft measure of the supervisory authority. Where the matter has been raised by the European Data Protection Board under Article 58 i it can be expected that the Commission will exercise its discretion and deliver an opinion whenever necessary.

Article 60 concerns Commission decisions requiring the competent authority to suspend its draft measure when this is necessary to ensure the correct application of this Regulation.

Article 61 provides for a possibility for the adoption of provisional measures, in an urgency procedure.

Article 62 sets out the requirements for Commission implementing acts under the consistency mechanism.

Article 63 provides the obligation to enforce measures of a supervisory authority in all Member States concerned, and sets out that the application of the consistency mechanism is a precondition for the legal validity and enforcement of the respective measure. Section 3 – European Data Protection Board

Article 64 establishes the European Data Protection Board, consisting of the heads of the supervisory authority of each Member State and of the European Data Protection Supervisor. The European Data Protection Board replaces the Working Party on the Protection of Individuals with regard to the Processing of Personal Data set up under Article 29 of Directive 95/46/EC. It is clarified that the Commission is not a member of the European Data Protection Board, but has the right to participate in the activities and to be represented.

Article 65 underlines and clarifies the independence of the European Data Protection Board.

Article 66 describes the tasks of the European Data Protection Board, based on Article 30 i of Directive 95/46/EC, and provides for additional elements, reflecting the increased scope of activities of the European Data Protection Board, within the Union and beyond. In order to be able to react in urgent situations, it provides the Commission with the possibility to ask for an opinion within a specific time-limit.

Article 67 requires the European Data Protection Board to report annually on its activities, building on Article 30 i of Directive 95/46/EC.

Article 68 sets out the European Data Protection Board’s decision making procedures, including the obligation to adopt rules of procedure which should extend also to operational arrangements.

Article 69 contains the provisions on the chair and on the deputy chairs of the European Data Protection Board.

Article 70 sets out the tasks of the chair.

Article 71 sets out that the secretariat of the European Data Protection Board shall be provided by the European Data Protection Supervisor, and specifies the tasks of the secretariat.

Article 72 provides for rules on the confidentiality.



Article 73 provides the right of any data subject to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority, based on Article 28 of Directive 95/46/EC. It specifies also the bodies, organisations or associations which may lodge a complaint on behalf of the data subject or, in case of a personal data breach, independently of a data subject's complaint.

Article 74 concerns the right of judicial remedy against a supervisory authority. It builds on the general provision of Article 28 i of Directive 95/46/EC. It provides specifically a judicial remedy obliging the supervisory authority to act on a complaint, and clarifies the competence of the courts of the Member State where the supervisory authority is established. It provides also the possibility that the supervisory authority of the Member State in which the data subject is residing, may bring on behalf of the data subject proceedings before the courts of another Member State where the competent supervisory authority is established.

Article 75 concerns the right to a judicial remedy against a controller or processor, building on Article 22 of Directive 95/46/EC, and providing a choice to go to court in the Member State where the defendant is established or where the data subject is residing. Where proceedings concerning the same matter are pending in the consistency mechanism, the court may suspend its proceedings, except in case of urgency.

Article 76 lays down common rules for court proceedings, including the rights of bodies, organisations or associations to represent data subjects before the courts, the right of supervisory authorities to engage in legal proceedings and the information of the courts on parallel proceedings in another Member State, and the possibility for the courts to suspend in such case the proceedings.[38] There is an obligation on Member States to ensure rapid court actions.[39]

Article 77 sets out the right to compensation and liability. It builds on Article 23 of Directive 95/46/EC, extends this right to damages caused by processors and clarifies the liability of joint controllers and joint processors.

Article 78 obliges Member States to lay down rules on penalties, to sanction infringements of the Regulation, and to ensure their implementation.

Article 79 obliges each supervisory authority to sanction the administrative offences listed in the catalogues set out in this provision, imposing fines up to maximum amounts, with due regard to circumstances of each individual case.



Article 80 obliges Member States to adopt exemptions and derogations from specific provisions of the Regulation where necessary to reconcile the right to the protection of personal data with the right of freedom of expression. It is based on Article 9 of Directive 95/46/EC, as interpreted by the Court of Justice of the EU.[40]

Article 81 obliges Member States, further to the conditions for special categories of data, to ensure specific safeguards for processing for health purposes.

Article 82 provides an empowerment for Member States to adopt specific laws for processing personal data in the employment context.

Article 83 sets out specific conditions for processing personal data for historical, statistical and scientific research purposes.

Article 84 empowers Member States to adopt specific rules on the access of supervisory authorities to personal data and to premises, where controllers are subject to obligations of secrecy.

Article 85 allows in the light of Article 17 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union for the continuous application of existing comprehensive data protection rules of churches if brought in line with this Regulation.



Article 86 contains the standard provisions for the exercise of the delegations in line with Article 290 TFEU. This allows the legislator to delegate to the Commission the power to adopt non-legislative acts of general application to supplement or amend certain non-essential elements of a legislative act (quasi-legislative acts).

Article 87 contains the provision for the Committee procedure needed for conferring implementing powers on the Commission in the cases where in accordance with Article 291 TFEU uniform conditions for implementing legally binding acts of the Union are needed. The examination procedure applies.



Article 88 repeals Directive 95/46/EC.

Article 89 clarifies the relationship to, and amends, the e-privacy Directive 2002/58/EC.

Article 90 obliges the Commission to evaluate the Regulation and submit related reports.

Article 91 sets out the date of the entry into force of the Regulation and a transitional phase as regards the date of its application.



The specific budgetary implications of the proposal relate to the tasks allocated to the European Data Protection Supervisor as specified in the legislative financial statements accompanying this proposal. These implications require reprogramming of Heading 5 of the Financial Perspective.

The proposal has no implications on operational expenditure.

The legislative financial statement accompanying this proposal for a Regulation covers the budgetary impacts for the Regulation itself and for the Directive on police and justice data protection.