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Prague to speed up bill enacting EU privacy protection directive

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Prague, Jan 18 (CTK) – The Czech Interior Ministry will prepare an information campaign on the EU’s privacy protection directive (GDPR) and speed up the completion of a bill on the directive’s Czech implementation at PM Andrej Babis’s request, Babis (ANO) said in the Chamber of Deputies on Thursday.

He said he has asked the ministry to submit the bill to the cabinet by mid-February, sooner than the original deadline of March.

The preparation of the bill has got delayed, Babis admitted, answering a lawmaker’s question during the question time in the lower house.

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) directive will come into force as of May 25.

Interior Minister Lubomir Metnar (for ANO) said the relevant Czech bill need not be passed before the directive takes effect.

Referring to the directive, Babis labelled it “a product of Brussels’ total bureaucracy.”

“A commissioner should be everywhere,” he noted in this connection.

The directive binds all offices, institutions, NGOs and companies involved to hire commissioners for the management and supervision of personal data.

Babis said Czech state institutions are prepared for its application.

Three days ago, the ministry submitted the text of the Czech bill to the anti-monopoly office UOHS for assessment.

Metnar told the deputies that the ministry wants the bill to include as many exceptions as possible for its impact to be the softest possible.

The ministry plans to launch an information campaign only after submitting the bill, which is to replace the current law on personal data protection, to the cabinet.

Last year, firms and town halls complained about the absence of the law, pointing out that the EU directive was approved more than a year ago.

According to it, millions of people have to give their consent to the processing of their personal data.

As a result, a crushing majority of databases operated by subjects such as online traders, doctors, schools and employers will need a reform.

The planned Czech bill keeps the fines for offices violating the new rules at up to ten million crowns, a sum set by the current law.

Similarly, the fine for breaching the ban on personal data release is to reach five million crowns at the most.

The EU directive enables countries to set a fine of up to 20 million euros (540 million crowns), which would apply to business companies.

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