The top 8 issues all CIO’s, CSO’s and CPO’s should know about how to notify data breaches in Europe

As the EU is about to enact a General Data Protection Regulation that will introduce a general obligation to notify personal data breaches for all companies doing business in Europe or directing it towards EU-based customers, we provide the reader with 8 of the most important aspects related to the implementation of this new obligation.

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Towards a New Personal Data Breach Notification Framework in the EU

The European Commission published recently a Proposal for a Regulation on personal data protection. If adopted, it would repeal the 1995 Data Protection Directive. The Proposal includes a new data security framework: both the data controller and the data processor would have to implement appropriate technical and organizational measures in order to ensure that data is secure; a personal data breach would have to be reported within 24 hours to the supervisory authority, and also, without undue delay, to the data subject if the breach would adversely affect his personal data or privacy. We comment some of the pending issues.

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ENISA Surveys Stakeholders of Upcoming EU Data Breach Notification Regime

"Grillage gelé" (Photo by "Photophilius"; shot on Dec. 13, 2008). Available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/30254220@N04/3116313871/ (Creative Commons "Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)" license.)

The European Network and Information Security Agency has recently published a report on data breach notifications in the European Union. ENISA surveyed data protection authorities, telecommunications regulatory authorities and telecom operators from different countries in the EU, but also from other non-EU countries such as the United States.
Using the various stakeholders’ responses, the report helps understand the practices and challenges of the future mandatory data breach notification regime, and aims to assist public authorities and private organizations in the EU as they implement data breach notification policies by providing a set of recommendations.
(Résumé aussi disponible en français)

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European Data Protection Supervisor Supports General Obligation to Report Security Breaches

"Sunlight" (Photo by Luc De Leeuw; shot on Feb. 3, 2008). Available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/9619972@N08/2422737815/ (Creative Commons "Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)" license.)

The European Data Protection Supervisor has recently issued an opinion on the review of the EU legal framework for data protection (Directive 95/46/EC). It expresses concerns regarding the increasing difficulties for individuals to protect the privacy of their personal data, and calls for strengthening individuals’ rights over them. This can be done, the EDPS argues, by making security breach notifications mandatory for all relevant sectors, increasing transparency of processing for data subjects, and introducing new rights, such as the “right to be forgotten” and the “right to data portability”.

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Will France adopt a law requiring the notification of security breaches?

A French bill “to better guarantee the right to privacy in the digital age” has implemented the European Directive 2009/136/EC by requiring the data controller to inform the “Data Protection Correspondent” (a person within an organization who could be the controller or someone assisting the controller), or in the absence thereof, the French data protection authority (the Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés), of a breach of integrity or confidentiality. Those involved in the breach must also be informed, at least if security breaches are “likely to adversely affect” their personal data. The bill follows the recommendation of the Directive to notify individuals of security breaches for all sectors, not just electronic communications. It was adopted by the French Senate on March 24, 2010 and is currently before the National Assembly.
(A French version of this article is also available in this blog.)

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