New EU data protection laws ‘could be most strict in the world' in current form, says Sophos

However, there is the possibility that they will be watered down by the time European countries implement them

Europe could have the strictest data protection laws in the world if the current draft of the rules are implemented, according to security IT provider Sophos.

The European Commission proposed a reform of the EU's 1995 data protection rules in 2012 to bring the laws up-to-date with technology, and the new law is expected to be approved next year. Once this has happened, EU member states will have two years to implement the laws, which, if breached, could lead to fines of up to 100 million or up to five percent of a business' global annual turnover - whichever is higher. The new law would apply to all companies operating in the EU, no matter where they are based.

"If implemented in its current form, [the EU data protection laws] could be the most strict data protection in the world," Anthony Merry, director of data protection at Sophos said at a roundtable in London today.

"But, they may be watered down," he warned. "In the two years since they announced the law, there's been 4,000 amendments to it. I wouldn't be surprised if there are another 4,000 over the next two years."

Despite this, Merry believes that the updated regulations - overdue since they have not been changed significantly since 1995 - are a "step in the right direction".

The updated regulations aim to give citizens the same rights online as they have offline, give them confidence that they have protection when they're online, and ensure that organisations better protect customer data.

Businesses will also be required to notify the supervisory authority in a country - CERT-UK [the UK National Computer Emergency Response Team] is viewed as the UK's supervisory authority at present - of a data breach, which is not currently mandatory for the private sector in the UK. At present, only public sector organisations are obligated to notify the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) of a serious data breach.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags sophossecurityeuropean commission

More about Computer Emergency Response TeamEUEuropean CommissionICONational ComputerSophos

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Anh Nguyen

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Will your data protection strategy be enough when disaster strikes?

    Speakers: - Paul O’Connor, Engagement leader - Performance Audit Group, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) - Nigel Phair, Managing Director, Centre for Internet Safety - Joshua Stenhouse, Technical Evangelist, Zerto - Anthony Caruana, CSO MC & Moderator

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place