EU calls for penalties for political violation of private data

The EU’s Constitutional Affairs Committee has officially approved of new proposed penalties to be handed out to European political parties who breach data protection to influence EU elections.

In a statement, the European Parliament explained that the proposal was motivated by recent cases like the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal. The financial sanctions being proposed will reduce the impact of disinformation campaigns which could be spread by political parties using vulnerable personal data.

The report by Rainer Weiland from the EPP and Mercesdes Bresso from the S&D was unanimously adopted. This means that now, if a national supervisory authority flags up infringement cases, the Authority for European political parties and foundations will decide on the penalty.

Months before the next European election, what’s left for this legislation to come into effect is the Plenary’s approval for the proposal to go to inter-institutional negotiations. Once it is approved there, it will be adopted by the Parliament and Council, and then it will enter into force, binding all Member States from it’s date of publication.