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Data Protection Leader
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Volume: 14 Issue: 5
(May 2017)

gdpr eu data reform

no author

germany eu

Germany: Harmonisation “becomes more distant” as Bundesrat adopts GDPR bill

The Federal Council (‘Bundesrat’) adopted, on 12 May 2017, a draft bill for a new Federal Data Protection Act (‘the Bill’), in light of the entry into force of the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) (‘GDPR’), and following its adoption by the Parliament (‘Bundestag') towards the end of April.

Sascha Kuhn, Head of Simmons & Simmons’ International Data Protection and Privacy Practice, said, “This piece of legislation has been at the centre of a heated debate amongst data protection experts in Germany […] Some are of the opinion that the legislature has gone beyond the scope of the clauses under the GDPR which permit Member State flexibility, and thereby effectively overstepped its powers. It remains to be seen which other Member States will introduce legislation to make use of such clauses and how far such legislation will go. With every national legislator implementing its own data protection rules, however, the idea of a full harmonisation of European data protection law becomes more and more distant.”

The Bill now requires the signature of the President of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, before becoming law. Once signed, Germany will become the first Member State to formally adopt legislation in reaction to the GDPR, though several others are currently debating similar draft bills.

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