On March 16th, 2018, the Ministerial Cabinet approved the preliminary draft legislation on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data. This legislation aims at ‘implementing’ the General Data Protection Regulation (EU Regulation 2016/679, hereafter the ‘GDPR’) and the relating EU Directive 2016/680 on processing of personal data by competent authorities for the purposes of the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties.
Although the GDPR is a regulation, and thus in principle does not need an implementation bill, the GDPR leaves more than 60 opening clauses for Member States to provide for more specific rules to ensure the protection of the rights and freedoms in respect of the processing of their data. This opportunity for Member States to further legislate varies from decreasing the age for valid consent from children (art. 8.1 GDPR), to providing more specific rules for processing of data in an employment context (art. 88 GDPR) and/or the processing of personal data for archiving purposes, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes (art. 89 GDPR).
The press release of March 16th, 2018 announced that the draft bill aims at modernizing current data protection legislation and will include derogations for authorities (e.g. intelligence and security authorities) outside the European Union. Previously it was already suggested that Belgium would lower the age of children’s consent to 13 years.
Currently the draft bill is being reviewed for advice by the Council of State. We will keep you informed on the further progress via this site. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.