Data Protection Update: Confirmed Date for Entry into Force of New EU Data Protection Regulation

The European Parliament voted to approve the final version of the EU’s new Data Protection Regulation on 14 April 2016, and the text of the new regulation was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 4 May 2016. This means that the new regulation will fully enter into force of 25 May 2018. Both private and public sector actors will have to ensure that the processing of personal data they carry out is in compliance with the requirements of the new regulation by that date. The new obligations apply to the processing of personal data of both employees and customers.

The drafting of the Data Protection Regulation began when the European Commission published its proposal for overarching EU-level legislation of data protection in 2012. The EU’s Data Protection Regulation is part of the Commission’s digital single market strategy, which is intended to ‘tear down regulatory walls and finally move from 28 national markets to a single one’.  According to the Commission’s press release, a fully functional digital single market could contribute 415 billion euros per year to the EU’s economy.

A political consensus was reached on the contents of the Data Protection Regulation in December 2015, following which the text of the regulation has been finalised and translated into the official languages of all the Member States.

On 17 February 2016, the Finnish Ministry of Justice appointed a two-year committee to investigate and assess the national legislative actions necessitated by the Data Protection Regulation. The committee is to give its proposal concerning necessary amendments by the end of May 2017.

Have a look at our previous publications on the changes and requirements that the Data Protection Regulation will bring for private and public sector actors:

Official text of the Data Protection Regulation: Official Journal of the European Union L119

For further information, please contact: 
Eija Warma
Kaisa Keski-Vähälä
Anette Luomala