This post was written by Cynthia O’Donoghue.

On 19 March 2013, by 14 votes to 6, the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) adopted an opinion on the proposed General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation). It is the fourth and the final committee to adopt a non-binding opinion before the Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) is due to vote on the Regulation, expected sometime in July. The amendments proposed by the JURI reflect some of the common concerns regarding the new framework.

The full text of the opinion became available in April, but the press release and notes, released in March, indicated that JURI supports the structure and fundamental elements of the Regulation, while still seeking amendments to specific provisions. JURI backed requiring “explicit” consent for data processing, but highlighted that such consent was capable of being sought electronically. It also supported the right to be forgotten, which would force data controllers, including social networks and e-retailers, to delete information about the individual. However, JURI argued that for public interest reasons, this should not apply to health data.Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) Committee opinion, which deleted all the safeguards relating to profiling. Nonetheless, European Digital Rights (EDRI) publication on this issue argues that JURI’s amendments are unacceptable and break the European Charter of Fundamental Rights. EDRI strongly criticised JURI’s proposal that businesses could rely on a “legitimate interest” analysis to justify profiling and data processing for incompatible purposes.

JURI’s draft opinion had proposed deleting the right to data portability, but this proposal was removed from the final version of the opinion after strong criticism. The adopted opinion does include a recommendation to limit restrictions on “profiling” to situations when it is based on ethnicity, religious beliefs or sexuality. This is not as radical as the

While the JURI’s opinion appears to aim for compromise on a number of contested issues, it is likely to spark further debate, as is clear from the mixed reviews the opinion received.