News: Companies are yet to discover if they will face fines of up to 5% of their global revenue.
On Tuesday a new privacy law is expected to be agreed upon in the European Union, but opinions are split on whether it will have a positive or negative impact.
The EU-wide data-protection law is set to replace a patchwork of 28 different sets of national laws, making it easier to operate in the EU under one blanket law.
To get to this point has taken four years of negotiations and while a European Commission official, said: "We’re quite happy with what’s on the table," some tech companies aren’t as happy.
Rene Summer, Director of Government and industry relations, Ericsson, said: "Even if something goes wrong only in a small part of the company that operates in the EU, the entire organization is fined."
One of the key sore points are the rules around fines and how much should be imposed on companies that breach the new rules. A proposal of 2% of global revenue has been proposed by the European Commission, while the European Parliament is pushing for a 5% levy.
A cap of 4% is looking the most likely, with maximum fines only imposed for the most serious offences.
Another issue that is still yet to be decided upon is the phrasing in the law regarding permission given to businesses to allow for processing of data.
The area of privacy and data protection are two key areas that are to be decided upon on Tuesday, one suggestion is that companies will be required to employ a data privacy officer.
It is unknown whether SME’s will be exempt from that law, or whether it will be applied dependant on the business sector and risks involved. This would particularly impact start-ups and other small companies that can only afford a small number of staff.
Although the new law is expected to be agreed upon on Tuesday, businesses will have two-years to implement any changes before the law is enforced.