Data protection legislation heats up around the globe

Data protection legislation heats up around the globe

Stephen Perkins

In the past several years, monumental cases of data breach, loss and exposure have hit the mainstream media with a relative consistency, causing many lawmakers to begin rethinking legislation surrounding the governance of digital information. Businesses in North America and Europe have had to quickly reform their own policies to ensure continuous data protection that will strengthen resilience to outages, natural disaster, hacking events and other threats. 

While regulators have become more actively pursuant of widespread legislative changes, these processes take much longer than the average threat does to proliferate. New challenges, complexities and risks sprout up each day, and organizations can avoid falling victim to these threats by becoming more proactive in the development of disaster recovery and data protection strategies. 

Global legislation
Slate recently argued that lawmakers from a variety of nations are beginning to become more serious in terms of passing a global standard for data protection. While the National Security Agency controversy, as well as WikiLeaks and other instances of classified information exposure, have certainly had an impact on the sentiments of the average corporate executive, data protection has been a hot topic of discussion for several years. 

According to the news provider, experts are starting to throw their hats in the ring, suggesting data protection frameworks that might work on a global scale. For obvious reasons, passing a consistent set of legislation that would cover entities in every nation, including those that have extremely divergent social and economic foundations, would be a substantially difficult undertaking.

Additionally, policy enforcement responsibilities would likely rest on the shoulders of the United Nations, and would be equally as difficult to accomplish. The source explained that one recommendation came from Graham Greenleaf, and his approach is far different from others in that it does not put responsibility on the U.N., but rather designated the responsibility to the Council of Europe's Data Protection Convention. 

EU pauses
Kenny Mullen and Brian Dunefsky of Withers LLP recently reported that the European Commission has had to halt its General Data Protection Regulation reforms, and that the legislation likely will not occur until 2015 or later. This announcement has frustrated various entities that were expecting the commission to finalize the discussions by the end of this year. 

Business leaders should view this as a clear sign that they must take ownership of data protection and not wait for regulators to get the job done for them. 

Categories: Data Protection