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Published: 24 july 2012 17:19

Lithuania opposed EC idea to make big companies hire data protection inspectors

Valstybinė duomenų apsaugos inspekcija pastebi, jog savo asmeninius duomenys gyventojai dažnai paviešina patys.
Šarūno Mažeikos/BFL nuotr. / In Remigijus Šimašius view, the current regulation of personal data protection is faulty.

Lithuania disapproves of the European Commission's (EC) idea to stipulate an obligation for large companies to have a separate employee in charge of personal data protection, Justice Minister Remigijus Šimašius says.

"The commission's proposal is that companies with staff of 250 and more should have a data protection officer who, among other things, would have to be licensed for the job. I cannot support this aspect," the minister told BNS via telephone from Cyprus.

The EC proposal is on the agenda of an informal meeting of EU ministers in Nicosia. In Šimašius' words, regulations could envisage an obligation for companies to authorize an employee to guarantee personal data protection without having to establish a separate position.

Šimašius said the current proposal would bring an inadequate burden upon businesses.

"A large number of countries have general observations that the administrative burden should either be reduced or there should be no new restrictions. The issue of data protection inspector has been raised. I hope our remarks will be heard," the justice minister said.

In his words, the current regulation of personal data protection is faulty – "it is rather bureaucratic and burdening for businesses," therefore, the EC initiative includes good proposals too.

"Some of the thing are made simpler – for example, the duty for data protection officers to register and receive permits from data protection inspectorates is scrapped," said Šimašius.

The Justice Ministry cited EC calculations, which suggest that the duty for the private sector in the European Union may cost about 320 million euros. Spendings in the public sector have not been assessed.

The minister made more remarks in connection to the regulation, which has been in discussion for nearly six months. The Lithuanian official also emphasized he was in support of the objective to work out a better mechanism of regulating personal data and envisage more measures that would enable people to improve management of their online data, develop a set of rules that would be in effect in all of the EU and increase the liability of data managers in case of undue use of data.

"It is crucial to protect the data; however, it is just as important that people who exchange e-mails on a daily basis do not become hostage to some regulation, which makes it unclear whether they are offenders or not," Šimašius told BNS.

BNS
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