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Czech personal data bill to be passed after GDPR takes effect

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Prague, April 18 (CTK) – A new Czech bill on handling personal data will not be passed before the EU’s privacy protection directive (GDPR) takes effect on May 25 because the opposition parties vetoed the plan to deal with the bill in a shortened procedure, MP Marek Benda (Civic Democrats, ODS) said on Wednesday.

He said a number of changes need to be made in the government’s bill.

The shortened procedure was rejected by the lower house groups of the ODS, the Pirates, the Social Democrats (CSSD), the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), TOP 09 and the Mayors and Independents (STAN).

According to the opposition, the Interior Ministry did not sufficiently use the exceptions that are possible under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Benda said the bill deals with exceptions for institutions rather than citizens. He said journalists could have broader exceptions with regard to the right to information. On the contrary, the right to be deleted from databases should be limited for representatives of the country’s former communist regime for research purposes, he added.

Pirate deputy chairman Jakub Michalek said the bill should define the upper level of fines for violating the privacy protection rules more precisely.

Michalek also opposed the rule under which teenagers would be allowed to set up their own account on social networks only at the age of 15. He said this was “far from reality” and proposed to lower the limit to the age of 13, which was in accordance with the European regulation.

The cabinet on Wednesday rejected KDU-CSL’s proposal under which the fines for the violation of the GDPR rules would be cancelled for municipalities, institutions and NGOs. The Chamber of Deputies will decide on this proposal.

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