EU lawmakers take tough stance on independent data protection

Hungary referred to European Court over independence of its data protection authority

The European Commission underlined its commitment to data protection on Wednesday by referring Hungary to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) over the independence, or lack of it, for its national data protection authority.

Under Hungary's new Constitution, which became law on Jan. 1, a new National Agency for Data Protection was set up to replace the former Data Protection Commissioner's Office. According to the Data Protection Directive, E.U. countries must establish a supervisory body, which acts in complete independence, to monitor the application of the directive. The independence of data protection authorities is also explicitly required by Article 16 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the E.U.

However, in setting up the new agency, Hungary prematurely ended the six-year term of the data protection commissioner, whose term of office was not due to finish until September 2014. The personal independence of such a data protection supervisor includes protection against removal from office, a key requirement of E.U. law.

According to the Commission, in removing the commissioner from his post two years and nine months earlier than required, Hungary violated the independence of the supervisory authority, which is why it decided to take the matter to the ECJ.

In 2010 the court ruled that the mere risk of political influence through state scrutiny is sufficient to hinder the independent performance of the supervisory authority's tasks.

A second case regarding the retirement age of judges, prosecutors and public notaries in Hungary was also referred to the ECJ on Wednesday.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter at @BrusselsGeek or email tips and comments to jennifer_baker@idg.com.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jennifer Baker

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?