‘Data protection laws may prompt compulsory job roles’

The existing European Data Protection Framework (EDFP) could involve brands having to hire a full-time data protection officer and limit their use of online behavioural advertising, according to the data regulator.

The Government is exploring the possibility of using data pseudonyms as the EU chief says a shift to the practice would stimulate growth.

The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) has paired with London Economics to assess the potential economic impact of the proposals.

Speaking at a Westminster eForum event in London yesterday (26 March), David Smith, ICO deputy commissioner and director of data protection, said the body would publish the results of its study within the next month.

He told attendees the purpose of the study is to determine a “realistic analysis” of what aspects of the looming enforcement of EDPF, which moot the expansion of what is deemed ‘personal data’ and currently being debated in the EU legislature.

“Some estimates say there’ll be huge benefits [from gaining a more explicit consent from consumers]. But others say there’ll be an enormous increase in cost [to ensure compliance] to the proposals,” said Smith adding that some firms may have to employ a full-time data protection under current proposals,” Smith added.

Elsewhere at the event was Rt. Hon. Lord McNally, minister of state for the Ministry of Justice and deputy leader of the House of Lords, who quoted figures estimating the current EDPF proposal could potentially add tens-of-millions of pounds to the running costs of the ICO, due to the increased number data protection briefs.

This potential increase in costs has prompted the Ministry of Justice to lead a consultation examining how the ICO is funded and a potential restructure of the data protection authority.

“All of this comes at a time when we’re supposed to be cutting red tape… I’m all for simplification but this isn’t it,” he said adding extra administrative burdens on businesses ran counter to the Government’s growth agenda.

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