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16 December 2015

FSB welcomes EU decision on data protection but calls for greater clarity

Responding to the EU political agreement on the General Data Protection Regulation, John Allan, National Chairman for the Federation of Small Businesses, said:

“We are pleased to see the EU listen to the FSB and include opt outs for smaller businesses in the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Smaller businesses will be particularly pleased to hear they will not be obliged to appoint a Data Protection Officer and undertake a costly Data Protection Impact Assessment. FSB also welcomes the decision that will allow smaller businesses to charge a reasonable fee for data requests that may be unfounded or deemed as excessive. These obligations would have been a costly burden on smaller businesses and it’s encouraging to see the EU being mindful of this.

“Nevertheless, there remain concerns as to how these opt outs will take force in reality. FSB therefore calls on the EU for greater clarity and finer detail on what constitutes a ‘data driven’ small business, and the potential impact on our members deemed to be ‘data driven’. We call for the EU to be transparent, and provide more information to smaller businesses in a timely manner.

“FSB saw the recent Interinstitutional Agreement on Better Regulation as encouraging.  It meant the impact of new legislation on competitiveness should be taken into account. The GDPR clearly illustrates why a competitiveness test is badly needed. Although we are happy with the opt outs for smaller businesses, the effect of the GDPR on smaller ‘data driven’ businesses has clearly not been thought through. We hope this new focus will ensure oversights like this don’t happen in the future.”