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PI founder Simon Davies to assess data protection reforms for the European Parliament

Privacy International's founder and former Director General, Simon Davies, has been tasked by cross-party rapporteurs of the European Parliament to conduct a wide-ranging external assessment of the European Commission's proposed reforms to the EU data protection framework.

The assessment will involve a thorough review of the proposals by an EU-wide expert group currently being put together. The input for the assessment will be multi-stakeholder in nature, though the focus of the report will be on legal issues. The EP has asked Mr Davies to present the assessment's findings to the joint meeting of EU national parliaments and the European Parliament in October.

In their letter of 17th July authorising the assessment, Jan Philipp Albrecht MEP (rapporteur for data protection regulation) and Dimitrios Droutsas MEP (rapporteur for the Data Protection Directive) wrote that, while they "broadly welcomed" the Commission's proposals, they believed "that the process of consideration of these proposals would benefit greatly from an external multi-stakeholder expert input".

"It would be most beneficial for the report to focus on legal and legislative aspects of the recommendations but we do not wish to otherwise constrain its parameters. We would however ask the process to be multi-stakeholder in nature and to whatever extent possible involve experts from across the EU."

Mr Davies said the assessment would be a "massive task" but that the report would provide a "remarkable opportunity to improve the entire reform process, and the potential to help achieve lasting benefit to privacy throughout the EU and elsewhere". However, he told PI that the scale and the timeframe for the project was "frighteningly ambitious" and that he was still consulting to determine whether the task was possible within the Parliament's schedule. "To be honest, contrary to my original aspiration, I'm not convinced a draft report is possible by early September. It may be that we need to take a different approach such as focusing on a broader, decentralised consultation input."

For more information, please contact Simon Davies at s.g.davies@lse.ac.uk