The UK’s Deputy Information Commissioner David Smith has suggested that detail about the contents of the draft General Data Protection Regulation should emerge by December this year. Mr Smith, in his blog last week, stated that trilogue negotiations between the Council of the European Union, the European Parliament and the European Commission are progressing well and that all parties are working to find a workable compromise between their individual texts. According to Mr Smith, a planned timetable which runs until December has come out of the trilogue negotiations so far and, if all goes according to plan, “we’ll know pretty much what’s going to be in the Regulation by the end of this year.”

Mr Smith highlights the key areas to look out for as discussions progress. These include possible consensus around situations where EU data protection law and data disclosure requirements in non-EU countries conflict, the extent to which a data controller can process personal data based on their “legitimate interests” and permissible standards of compatible processing, international transfers of personal data and breach notification requirements.

The Regulation was first proposed in January 2012 and aims to harmonise data protection law across the European Union and to take account of EU case law and best practice in the data protection field.

The Deputy Commissioner also mentions that the Council is continuing to discuss its position on the proposed Directive on data protection in the law enforcement and justice sectors, with the aim that trilogue negotiations would take place in the autumn in parallel with the negotitaions on the Regulation.