[TechDirt] EU Data Protection Proposal Gets Stronger, But With Big Loopholes

One of the most important pieces of legislation wending its way through the European Parliament concerns data protection. Because of its potential impact on major US companies like Google and Facebook, this has become one of the most fought-over proposals in the history of the EU, with lobbyists apparently writing large chunks of suggested amendments more favorable to online services. [...]

Where before the concerted lobbying campaign seemed to have managed to water down the proposals, now the Snowden Effect was in evidence, as the committee beefed up privacy protection for the public. [...]

Perhaps the biggest loophole concerns the concept of " legitimate interest" (pdf), which allows a company to use personal data provided it meets "the reasonable expectations of the data subject based on his or her relationship with the [company]". [...] And there's another serious issue, as noted by La Quadrature du Net:

The Members of the LIBE Committee also made the very disturbing choice of accept the secret tripartite negotiations requested by the rapporteur Jan Philipp Albrecht. The text will now be modified behind closed doors, between the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council (ministers from the Member States). The latter could use untransparent negotiations to annihilate all the positive provisions of this Regulation, leading to a weak and dangerous final version of this legislation. [...]