Data protection directive protects citizens from law enforcement data misuse
Spain and Greece have been dragged to the Court of Justice by the European Commission for failure to transpose a law enforcement data protection directive into local law.
The directive in question is designed to protect citizens ‘fundamental rights’ to data protection whenever law enforcement authorities need to process citizen’s data during the course of a law enforcement operation. The EU rules state that the personal data of victims, witnesses and suspects of crimes must be correctly protected.
The EU has request the Court of Justice of the EU to impose a fine of €5,287 per day between the days after the deadline expired (6 May 2018) and the date on which they reach compliance with law. The Court could also impose a daily penalty payment of €22,169 from the day of the first judgment until full compliance is reached.
The Commission has called for a similar ruling against Spain with financial sanctions being called for in the form of a lump sum of €21,321 per day starting from the former deadline and ending upon compliance.
Data Protection Directive
The directive sets out the rules for the protection of personal data that is being used by law enforcement agencies. The goal of the directive is to foster a high level of protection surrounding personal data that is processed by law enforcement.
Also included in the directive is the format and standard in which data can be shared between EU members for the purpose of stopping crime and terrorist acts.
The Commission has stated that: “The lack of transposition by Spain and Greece creates a different level of protection of peoples’ rights and freedoms and hampers data exchanges between Greece and Spain on one side and other Member States who transposed the Directive on the other side. “
When the Court of Justice of the EU will examine the cases of Spain and Greece it will take into account three key factors when deciding level of financial sanctions it can impose. The court will take into account the seriousness of the infringement, the length of time the directive was not enforced and what they call the special “n” factor which takes into account each country GDP and number of seats the member state holds in the European Parliament.