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UK biz baffled by Reding's planned data protection law rewrite: ICO

The Register - A large number of British businesses are clueless about many of the main provisions detailed in the European Union's proposed data protection reforms, a new report from the Information Commissioner's Office has claimed.

Consultancy firm London Economics - which was commissioned to carry out the research (PDF) on behalf of the ICO - surveyed 506 companies in the UK and found that 87 per cent of them failed to estimate how much money the planned legislative overhaul might cost their biz.

Justice commissioner Viviane Reding tabled her draft data protection bill in January 2012. It is currently being scrutinised by the European Parliament. The British government has been scathing about many of the proposals laid out in the legislative rewrite, which could lead to a single law on information-handling with which every member state will need to comply.

National governments presently have a patchwork approach to EU data protection legislation based on the 18-year-old Data Protection Directive of 1995 and coordinated by many different watchdogs.

Reding wants to change that, but UK government ministers and Information Commissioner Christopher Graham have long argued that many of the provisions in the draft are overly prescriptive and unworkable on a national level.