back to article Gah! EU data protection will STIFLE business, moans gov.UK

The European Commission has not calculated the full costs to businesses of changes to the EU data protection regime, the Government has said. The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said that the Commission's assessment on the impact its draft General Data Protection Regulation would have on businesses does "not properly quantify the …


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  1. LarsG
    IT Angle

    Justify their position

    Well they do have to justify the billions that are lavished on them by every EU member country.

    What else would we be paying our extra taxes for except to oil the wheels of the EU bureaucracy?

    1. Jon Press

      Re: Justify their position

      Assuming by "them" you mean the European Commission, its operating budget is around 3.3 billion (EUR). Divide that by 27 members and it becomes quite hard to support the claim that every country is spending billions on EU bureaucracy.

      The proposal for an EU law (as opposed to a directive) would also mean that EU bureaucrats wouldn't have to be monitoring member states to make sure the laws they passed were compliant with the directive - it would be the same law everywhere - and it would be enforced in national courts not in Brussels. So I'm not quite sure how that would involve extra taxation heading down the Karel de Grotelaan.

      Perhaps the best way for banks to escape tighter regulation is to propose the EU should do it* and then they can sneak away under cover of the ensuing hysteria.

      *They will anyway, but that's a different story...

      1. Flatpackhamster

        Re: Justify their position

        The Commission's operating budget may be "only" E3.3bn, but the costs of its decisions run in to the hundreds of billions.

        Still, the whole rotten edifice will explode in a year or two, and then we can get back to running ourselves.

        1. Jon Press


          Total EU budget is around 140 bn Euro pretty much all of which, except the administrative cost and overseas aid (of which there is relatively little), is spent within member countries and via national governments. There may well be reasons to dislike the EU, but imaginary statistics don't figure amongst them.

  2. Len Silver badge

    How can you question the financial benefits of having one regulation?

    I have two clients impacted by the various differences of data laws in their different markets. The EU is fortunately largely aligned, although my clients say there is still room for improvement. The difference between Europe and the US is expensive, doing business within the US is even more costly as some things vary even from state to state.

    The cost of doing business because of all these variations are immense. One client of mine even decided not to offer some services in some countries (and two US states) because of the hurdles of this not being aligned.

  3. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    The Grand Ponzi Reinvented in a Quasi-Political Business Clone ...... the European Commission

    Under the commission's proposals, organisations operating in the EU would have to obtain explicit, freely given, specific and informed consent from individuals to rely on consent as a legitimate ground for processing personal data. Consent would not be able to be gleaned through silence or inactivity on the part of individuals and instead must be obtained through a statement or "clear affirmative action" before it can be said to have been given.

    Methinks those terrorist organisations/terrorist-seeking organisations would be immune from prosecution for all failures to obtain informed consent and have no need of compliance with that crazy notion. The European Commission don't seem to realise that every day they produce more incontrovertible evidence of their being persons of interest to be constantly monitored/spookily snooped upon, with all of their communications and contacts dutifully recorded for posterity and peer review and trial with regard to charges of willful malfeasance with designed self interest in invented public office presenting evidence of delusions of imperial grandeur and fascist elitist tendencies.

    And such an action from those organisations which would be immune from successful prosecution is not something which they, European Commissions, should be concerned about, but rather more something they must surely insist upon, as it does, at a stroke, ensure that the highest of positive standards are practised and default in a realm which is awash with crooks and spivs of the lowest order.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: The Grand Ponzi Reinvented in a Quasi-Political Business Clone ...... the European Commission

      Indeed, should such blanket spooky snooping not already be being done, with it having been done for some considerable time already, then one would have to conclude that the intelligence services which one assumes are in place to protect and server security and stability. peace and prosperity are, long ago already, in need of new heads with an altogether much greater sense of direction and grander purpose, and a more APT Fit Phorm for the Future and ITs Novel Disciplines/Enigmatic Cloudy Concepts.

  4. Pete 2

    Put it in perspective

    The article quotes government figures for the costs of this compliance. They bandy around £1m here and £53m there, as if we're supposed to throw up our hands in horror. What they keep very close and don't tell us is what these figures are as a proportion of everyday business costs across the whole country.

    I realise that businesses don't like the idea of people actually having to give consent before they squirrel away terabytes of our personal information - just so they can pester us with adverts for stuff we don't want. However given the costs and turnover of british industry, even £147m in additional expenditure (or "jobs", as the traditionalists would have it) seems like a tiny drop in a very large ocean.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Put it in perspective

      "What they keep very close and don't tell us is what these figures are as a proportion of everyday business costs across the whole country."

      Indeed. They also don't seem to mention what the alternative is: keeping the current (1998) Data Protection Act, which is not worth the paper it's written on? Maybe there wouldn't have been need for a EU regulation in the first place if the UK government hadn't tried to be clever and let businesses shaft citizens at their own leisure:

  5. Livinglegend

    Why will it be

    completely ignored by all the other EU countries as completely unworkable and interfering?

    Ah, I see, the UK gov wants to fine people to get money out of anybody in the UK at any cost to the economy. Just another anti-UK law by dim politicos in the EU. Time for us to leave, come on Dave, give us a vote on In or Out.

    1. JohnMurray

      Re: Why will it be

      But you're assuming the people will vote to get out.

      That ignores every newspaper [sic] and government, which will be to stay in...not to mention the maildrop to every home by the EU.

      And don't laugh too much at the demise of the EU/EURO, because the consequences for the UK would be dramatic, and disastrous.

      And obviously "dave" knows nothing about the EU, because his "renegotiation" ploy won't work....because nothing can be done until they invoke article 50 stating intent to leave the EU, at which point the EU will cry "NON", or "NEIN".

      And Dave and the rest don't WANT to leave the it is just soundbite politic,s that we know so well.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pity the gov didn't do an impact assessment ...

    ... before the ICO launched the4 Cookie law fiasco.

    Oh, I forgot that every Tory policy comes with a built-in u-turn

  7. JaitcH

    How can the Conservative government be trusted with numbers ...

    when they can;t even get the budget right on the umpteenth time around?

  8. Harry
    Thumb Up

    They could actually SAVE a lot of money.

    Simple -- don't collect unnecessary data in the first place. If you don't collect it, then you don't have to delete it.

    I suspect more than 90% of data collected comes under the "unnecessary" heading. Result -- far far more money saved by *not* collecting the data, and no cost to delete data you don't have.

  9. h4rm0ny


    So complying with the law and people's rights conflicts in small ways with how you would like your business. Not my problem.

  10. RightPaddock

    Not an EU Competency

    Hands off EU, stifling UK business is not your job. We have The City and Vince to do that.

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